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December 30, 2011
Scientists Urge GOP Candidates to Accept Climate Science
    by Robert Kropp

In advance of early primaries, scientists in Iowa and New Hampshire urge Republican presidential candidates to accept climate science and support efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

A recent survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press reveals that a majority of moderate Republican voters—identified as those who do not agree with the Tea party—believe that climate change is real.

But conventional wisdom argues that voting by activists dominates the primaries, and Republican presidential candidates have been falling over each other to appeal to extremists who happen to be well funded by wealthy individuals like the Koch brothers, whose privately-owned Koch Industries is one of the leading emitters of greenhouse gases (GHGs) in the US.

Among the candidates in the Republican field, only Jon Huntsman publicly acknowledges the reality of climate change. Mitt Romney, generally considered the leading candidate for the nomination, reversed the position he held as Governor of Massachusetts and now refuses to state that human activity is the main cause of global warming. As for the other candidates, their positions simply fly in the face of widely accepted scientific findings.

In response to the climate denial of the Republican candidates, scientists in Iowa and New Hampshire have issued statements calling on the candidates to acknowledge climate science and support measures designed to reduce GHG emissions.

In Iowa, a group of 31 scientists called on GOP presidential candidates "to acknowledge the overwhelming balance of evidence for the underpinning causes of climate change, to develop appropriate policy responses, and to develop local and statewide strategies to adapt to near-term changes in climate."

"As the global climate continues to evolve, our farmers and city planners will face new challenges to maintain the prosperity of our state and its role in national and global food security," the letter from Iowa scientists, which was released last month, continued.

And in New Hampshire this week, 50 scientists issued a
statement urging "all candidates for public office at national, state, and local levels, and all New Hampshire citizens, to acknowledge the overwhelming balance of evidence for the underlying causes of climate change, to support appropriate responses to reduce the emissions of greenhouse gases, and to develop local and statewide strategies to adapt to near-term changes in climate."

"The US National Academy of Sciences together with all major scientific societies has affirmed that most of the observed increase in global temperatures over the past six decades is due to increases in anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions," the scientists stated. "Ignoring the issue of climate change places our health, our quality of life, our economic vitality, and our children's future at risk."


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