Romney: 'Humans Contribute' to Global Warming

June 6, 2011 - 4:44 PM

Romney 2012

Republican presidential hopeful, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney speaks during a town hall style campaign event at the University of New Hampshire in Manchester, N.H., Friday, June 3, 2011. (AP Photo/Stephan Savoia)

(CNSNews.com) - Mitt Romney, who is seeking the Republican nomination for president in 2012, said he thinks the Earth is getting warmer and that some of the temperature increase is man-made.

At a town hall meeting in New Hampshire last Friday, Romney said, “I don’t speak for the scientific community, of course, but I believe the world is getting warmer. I believe humans contribute to that."

"I don’t know how much our contribution is to that," he said,  "because I know there have been periods of greater heat and warmth in the past. But I believe that we contribute to that.”

"And so I think it’s important for us to reduce our emissions of pollutants and green house gases that may well be significant contributors to the climate change and global warming that you’re seeing," said Romney. "Now how do we go about doing that?"

The person at the town hall meeting who questioned Romney said that many of the other Republican primary candidates have either suggested that there is no scientific consensus on climate change or that climate change is not occurring. The person also asked Romney if he would accept global warming as a reality and use it as a basis for his energy policy.

Romney said, “One of the opportunities, I think, is that people who are really focused on climate change and global warming have the same interests as the people who are really focused, as I am, on getting ourselves off of our dependence on foreign oil."

Romney said his energy policy would reduce carbon emissions and reduce our dependence on foreign oil.

“One [way] is to use more natural gas in the production of electricity -- to use more natural gas in the propulsion of our vehicles,” he stated. “Natural gas is far less CO2 emitting, and it’s also domestic.”

Questioner: "My question’s about climate change. How to deal with climate change is a policy issue; the science of climate change is not. My question is not about policy—that is the mitigation of climate change. It is about the recognition of science. In 2010, the National Academy of Sciences issued a comprehensive report, which was requested by the Congress. Their conclusion was there’s a strong and credible body of scientific evidence that shows that climate change is occurring, is caused largely by human activities, and is a significant risk for a range of human activities. They further went on to say that some scientific conclusions or theories have been so thoroughly evaluated and supported by so many independent observations, the likelihood of these being found wrong is vanishingly small. This is the case for climate change. Now my question. My question to you, sir: Nearly all of the other candidates suggest that there is no scientific consensus on climate change—some insist that it is not even occurring. We cannot have a meaningful discussion about solutions until there is agreement about the problem. Will you sir, state now, that under a Romney administration, global warming will be accepted as a reality, and this reality will form the foundation for all climate and energy policy? Thank you."

Romney: "Do you work in the energy field or are you an academic? [How] did you get interested in this area? Tell us more about yourself."

Questioner: "I’m just an informed citizen, sir."

Romney: "Okay, great. It’s an important topic. And I actually had the privilege of writing a book at the end of my last campaign. I found that one of the challenges in a campaign is that most of the time you answer short questions with short answers, you’re on debates and you get one or one-and-a-half minutes, and you don’t get to lay out your views on a whole host of issues. So I wrote a book called No Apology and in there I have a section on this very topic—on energy, on global warming, and so forth. And I indicated my view. I don’t speak for the scientific community, of course, but I believe the world is 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 humans contribute to that. I don’t know how much our contribution is to that because I know there have been periods of greater heat and warmth in the past, but I believe that we contribute to that. And so I think it’s important for us to reduce our emissions of pollutants and green house gasses that may well be significant contributors to the climate change and global warming that you’re seeing. Now how do we go about doing that?

Romney: "One of the opportunities, I think, is that the people who are really focused on climate change and global warming have the same interests as the people who are really focused, as I am, on getting ourselves off of our dependence on foreign oil. I happen to think that buying every year a half-a-trillion dollars worth of oil outside the country really hurts our economy. And I also think it puts us in a position of jeopardy, in some respects, to the energy cartels that have the capacity to pull strings that would affect our national interests. And so I want to get us off our dependence on foreign energy. There are some things we could do that basically accomplish both. One is to use more natural gas in the production of electricity, to use more natural gas in the propulsion of our vehicles. We have just found through something known as “horizontal drilling”—it sounds a little strange—we used to drill holes vertically into the earth, and now they found a way to drill vertically and then to go horizontally, and to tap into all sorts of gas pockets. And we’ve developed about a hundred years of additional natural gas for this country. I want to get that natural gas into usage in our truck fleets, on our interstate highways, in power generation. Natural gas is far less CO2 emitting, and it’s also domestic."