Newt Gingrich Says the Darnedest Things!
It seems like it was only 2008 when former House Speaker Newt Gingrich was sitting down on a couch with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, agreeing that "our country must take action to address climate change."
But how times change! Via Think Progress, here's Newt speaking at a fundraiser last night in New Hampshire:
“I think we honestly don’t know,” he said. “I think the evidence is not nearly as complete as the computerized models, and I think that the understanding of climatology is a lot more incomplete than the global warming advocates would have you believe.”
Gingrich said he could see taking “prudent” and cost-effective steps to address climate change but would not support any form of a cap-and-trade program.
“I would not adopt massively expensive plans over a theory,” he said.
So what happened between 2008 and 2011? The very smart Ezra Klein pegs it not to anything intrinsic to the cap-and-trade system itself, but to the incredible polarization of U.S. politics:
This “you’re for it so we’re against it” phenomenon is increasingly common in politics, and not limited to any one issue. Cap-and-trade is, for now, a casualty of the way party polarization has become policy polarization. And no one one has yet developed a reliable strategy for interrupting that process.
For more on the near-ubiquity of flip-flopping climate change, see "It Was a Mistake" in the current issue of Sierra.