So what exactly did Huntsman flip-flop on today when it comes to climate change? The campaign seems to think he flip-flopped on nothing, and Huntsman himself said Tuesday he wasn’t changing his position.
But he did. Huntsman went today from the candidate who attacked others for rejecting climate science to joining with them in the conspiracy theories about falsified science and the extremist view that the jury’s still out on whether or not climate change is real.
Here’s what he didn’t flip-flop on: Huntsman has said from the very beginning of his campaign that he doesn’t think the government should do anything about climate change and would not support spending taxpayer dollars on mitigating the effects of climate shift.
At the Heritage Foundation today, he reiterated that point. But he went one step further and — here comes the flip-flop — backed off his previous view that the science was in and climate change is real. The Huntsman that spoke to Heritage today spoke of the same holes in the science and potential conspiracies behind climate science that full-on skeptics like, say, Rick Perry do.
“The scientific community,” Huntsman said, “owes us more about… what might lie beneath all of this.”
More Huntsman from Tuesday:
“[T]here is — there are questions about the validity of the science, evidenced by one university over in Scotland recently. I think the onus is on the scientific community to provide more in the way of information, to help clarify the situation.”
Huntsman refers to the conspiracy theory regarding East Anglia University (which, for what it’s worth is not in Scotland). This holds that hackers uncovered a trove of internal emails that prove climate scientists have made up at least some of the science to back their climate change theory. That story has been debunked not once, nor twice, but nine times by independent analysts.
It’s fair to say that spreading skepticism and calling for more science based on the the East Anglia emails puts you deep into climate change disbeliever territory. And that’s certainly not where Huntmsan was when he tweeted this:
Or when he said this to Time magazine:
You also believe in climate change, right? This is an issue that ought to be answered by the scientific community; I’m not a meteorologist. All I know is 90 percent of the scientists say climate change is occurring. If 90 percent of the oncological community said something was causing cancer we’d listen to them. I respect science and the professionals behind the science so I tend to think it’s better left to the science community - though we can debate what that means for the energy and transportation sectors.
[T]hat talking point is either a misquote of a recent scam too many fell for, or just made up and regardless silly because, really, no one disputes that climate changes, always has, always will, that’s what it does. No one, that is, except for people who revise history to create ‘smoking gun!’ Hockey Stick graphs and the like.
Today, the Spectator was defending Huntsman for his characterization of the same line. Here’s their transcript:
[TPM]: Aren’t you sort of changing your tune about climate change here? Didn’t you say before that [if] 90 percent of climate scientists think it’s real, [it’s] probably real, and now you’re saying that there’s more that needs to be said before we know if it’s true or not. Could you explain the difference between your past statements on it and what you’re saying now?
HUNTSMAN: I didn’t say 90, I said 99 percent of members of the Academy of Sciences have weighed in on the subject matter. I’m not changing that at all, I still say that.
Then came the stuff about there needing to be more science and and East Anglia. So, to review: Jon Huntsman didn’t flip-flop from guy who has proposals about how to deal with climate change to guy who refuses to do anything about it Tuesday. He flip-flopped on that before he got in. Huntsman’s flip-flop today was going from the guy who trusts the science (like the overwhelming majority of the scientific community) to a guy who casts doubts on whether the science is real like the candidates he’s mocked in the past.
Here’s video of the entire appearance, watch for yourself: