Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Gingrich Abandons Global Warming Support, Calls for Witch Hunt of Climate Scientists and Reporters

Sometimes, political flip-flops are so blatant, they're painful to watch.

In response to revelations that hackers had illegally broken into the personal e-mails of climate scientists at the University of East Anglia in an effort to torpedo sound global warming science, former Republican House Speaker Newt Gingrich seems to have (ahem) amended his views on the urgency of the climate change threat.

Yesterday, Gingrich jumped on the thoroughly debunked claim that the personal correspondence of one British scientist somehow disproves years of peer-reviewed research by thousands of his colleagues.
Congress should open an investigation into the degree of bias in the climate change community (including the journalists that report on the topic) toward suppressing research that shows slower or negligible global warming trends, or points to different causes than greenhouse gasses.
Wow. Really, journalists? Not just the individuals who wrote the emails in question, but the entire climate change community, as well as anyone and everyone who has every reported on the subject? That's a mighty bold demand with some scary historical precedents.

And if channeling the biggest bully in American history weren't enough, it's quite clear that Newt's new stand against peer-reviewed climate science is a pretty big flip-flop. In a televised 2007 debate on global climate change, Gingrich told the audience:
My message is, I think the evidence is sufficient that we should move towards the most effective possible steps to reduce carbon loading of the atmosphere...and do it urgently.

Someone should ask Newt if he now believes that the hackers' criminal stunt means we are no longer experiencing the hottest decade on record, or that much of the western U.S. has not actually been subjected to record wildfires. Perhaps it also means that the hundreds of veterans, retired brass and military experts who have called global warming a national security threat are all simply wrong.

By the way, didn't Gingrich effectively join the same climate change community he's now saying should be investigated when he called the evidence "sufficient" and said we should move "urgently" to combat global warming?

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