Romney Gets Real

Mitt Romney

Mitt Romney, bucking the current in his own party, has admitted that the problem of climate change is real.  According to the Boston Globe:

“I don’t speak for the scientific community, of course,’’ Romney said. “But I believe the world’s getting warmer. I can’t prove that, but I believe based on what I read that the world is getting warmer. And number two, I believe that humans contribute to that . . . so I think it’s important for us to reduce our emissions of pollutants and greenhouse gases that may well be significant contributors to the climate change and the global warming that you’re seeing.’’

Romney continues to oppose cap-and-trade and favors energy efficiency as a solution, along with nuclear and more use of natural gas.

He’s right that energy efficiency can do a lot to help, but wrong to think that it’s going to be enough. Increased use of natural gas is a definite step forward if it replaces coal rather than renewables; the same might be true of nuclear.  But more is definitely needed than Romney is willing to support.  However, admitting the problem is real is a big step: it opens the door to a rational discussion about responses.

Romney has shown more courage on this issue than several of his opponents, who know very well that climate change is a big problem but quickly changed their positions to please the party base.

It’s a little weird when we’ve gotten to the point where having someone admit the scientific facts counts as good news.  But that’s where we are right now.

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About Dan

Dan Farber has written and taught on environmental and constitutional law as well as about contracts, jurisprudence and legislation. Currently at Berkeley Law, he has al…

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