Flip Flopping Into the Mush

To paraphrase a famous remark used against a certain Democrat in the 2004 Presidential campaign, Mitt Romney was for global warming before he was against it.

Romney’s waffling on climate change is sure to reinforce his already well-earned reputation for flip floppery.

UPDATE: New York magazine says the waffle is more subtle:

It’s not a total flip-flop, just a slight shift towards a philosophy that distrusts scientific evidence that doesn’t conform to the ideology of the Republican base.

UPDATE: Andy Revkin (who generously links to this post), likens Romney to a yoga contortionist.

15 Responses to “Flip Flopping Into the Mush”

  1. Menth says:

    *chortle* Republicans? More like ReDUMBlicans! LOL!

  2. Brandon Shollenberger says:

    This doesn’t make any sense to me.  Could someone explain how this:
    “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 global warming that you’re seeing,
    Is contradicted by this:
    “Do I think the world’s getting hotter? Yeah, I don’t know that but I think that it is,” Romney said, as reported by Reuters. “I don’t know if it’s mostly caused by humans.”

    Or this:

    “What I’m not willing to do is spend trillions of dollars on something I don’t know the answer to,”

    As far as I can see, these are all pretty consistent. 

  3. Jarmo says:

    Looks like Romney wants to move closer to Perry re climate change. Poll magic 😉


  4. Fred says:

    Romney has likely not had many, if any, hard science courses during his education.  Therefore, on something like global warming he defers to what he perceives as the prevailing zeitgeist. 
    On the other hand, Perry, as an ag science major, has had some hard science courses.  He has more of an understanding about the scientific process.  He is less easily intimidated by prevailing opinion on this topic.  He better understands that scientists can be wrong and that as new research comes in the most scientifically acceptable position can change.  Perry would not be surprised that Svensmark’s cosmic ray research has been dumped on for years by scientists supporting global warming, only to emerge victorious with the newly announced CERN results.
    If you don’t already know about Sensmark’s work you can view a You Tube series on it beginning here:
    It provides a model that fits climactic variations far better than the CO2 model you guys are so ready to destroy the economy over. 

  5. Marlowe Johnson says:



    You can’t be serious. 

  6. Fred says:

    I’m not only serious, I’m right.  Try to prove otherwise.

  7. Keith Kloor says:


    You may be serious, but you’re also unintentionally comical. 

  8. Marlowe Johnson says:

    Alrighty then….

    I see your Svensmark and raise you one Calogovic and one Kulmala. Wonder what they have to say?


    “Currently a cosmic ray cloud connection (CRC) hypothesis is subject of an intense controversial debate. It postulates that galactic cosmic rays (GCR) intruding the Earth’s atmosphere influence cloud cover. If correct it would have important consequences for our understanding of climate driving processes. Here we report on an alternative and stringent test of the CRC-hypothesis by searching for a possible influence of sudden GCR decreases (so-called Forbush decreases) on clouds. We find no response of global cloud cover to Forbush decreases at any altitude and latitude.”


    “Our analysis shows that none of the quantities related to aerosol formation correlates with the cosmic ray-induced ionisation intensity (CRII). We also examined the contribution of ions to new particle formation on the basis of novel ground-based and airborne observations. A consistent result is that ion-induced formation contributes typically significantly less than 10% to the number of new particles, which would explain the missing correlation between CRII and aerosol formation. Our main conclusion is that galactic cosmic rays appear to play a minor role for atmospheric aerosol formation events, and so for the connected aerosol-climate effects as well.”

    Bring on the tinfoil YEEHAWWW!!!

  9. Fred says:

    The last laugh may be mine.  Why don’t you venture over to the link to the Svensmark video.  Watch it and the succeeding ones in the series.  Maybe even read Svensmark’s book.  Then look at the CERN results coming out in today’s issue of Science and start thinking.
    My thoughts about Perry are admittedly speculative.  But he does have something of a scientific education (although with a C+ average).  Then consider Al Gore.  As I understand the only post-high school science course he took was a survey course he got a D in.  His most recent reported public speaking engagement was an incoherent profanity laden rant.  Also greatly in Perry’s favor, he is not a lawyer.  I believe he is a better bet to understand a scientific issue like global warming than either Obama or any of the other Republican candidates.

  10. Fred says:

    Poor Calogovic and Kulmala.  I wonder what they thought after they read the CERN results in Science.

  11. Marlowe Johnson says:


    You might be interested in what the lead author of the CERN study has to say:

    “Early results seem to indicate that cosmic rays do cause a change. The high-energy protons seemed to enhance the production of nanometre-sized particles from the gaseous atmosphere by more than a factor of ten. But, Kirkby adds, those particles are far too small to serve as seeds for clouds.At the moment, it actually says nothing about a possible cosmic-ray effect on clouds and climate, but it’s a very important first step,” he says.” 

  12. Fred says:

    Your side has been bad mouthing this approach for some time.  This is understandable, as it provides a better explanation for observed climactic changes than assuming they are all due to variations in a trace gas comprising 4/10,000 of the atmosphere. 

  13. Marlowe Johnson says:

    I guess on your planet ‘trend’, ‘better’ and ‘explanation’ have different meanings than on mine…

  14. Louise says:

    Fred, what proportion of the atmosphere is ammonia?

  15. Greg S says:

    It appears that others haven’t been looking hard enough for the effect. (Calogovic gets a mention, but I don’t see any mention of Kulmala):

    Lots of commentary here:

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