In a Republican presidential field full of hyperbolic statements and clown-like antics, at least there’s John Huntsman. The former Utah governor is perhaps best described as a social moderate and fiscal conservative, likely the winning combination to best President Obama in a general election.
Yet his reasonable nuance seems to have gotten caught in the wheel of GOP politics. Specifically on climate change. Here’s what Huntsman said back in August during an interview on Fox News:
“I’ve always said, and it’s on the record — and by the way, I’m running on my record — climate change has an established body of science associated with it. That’s all I’m going to say.”
Then a month later during a debate, Huntsman doubled down, effectively lecturing his GOP opponents who he suggested were off the reservation.
“When you make comments that fly in the face of what 98 out of 100 climate scientists have said, when you call into question the science of evolution. All I’m saying is that in order for the Republican party to win, we can’t run from science.”
Yet now, Huntsman his changing his tune, in what appears to be a desperate attempt to get some attention before primaries and caucuses start in January. At en event hosted by the conservative Heritage Foundation on Tuesday, some would say that Huntsman walked back his previous stance on climate change. Others might say that he completely flip flopped.
“The scientific community owes us more in terms of a better description or explanation about what might lie beneath all of this,” Huntsman said. “But there’s not enough information right now to be able to formulate policies in terms of addressing it overall — primarily because it’s a global issue.”
It’s fair to note he’s not denying climate change outright, just saying that a U.S. policy depends on what other countries do, because greenhouse gasses are a global issue. But that said, questioning the human conributions to climate change was a popular thing to do, oh, about a decade ago. The science is now significantly further than basic skepticism. Which despite his earlier comments makes Huntsman, and his party, the folks who are running from science.