Tim Pawlenty. Photo: Gage Skidmore, Flickr
Tim Pawlenty. Photo: Gage Skidmore, Flickr

Pawlenty: The science is ‘bad’ when it comes to global warming

By Luke Johnson
Tuesday, June 28, 2011 at 2:39 pm

Before going off to the Council on Foreign Relations to give a speech on foreign policy, former Minnesota governor and 2012 GOP presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty appeared on Fox & Friends Tuesday morning. Asked about his stance on cap and trade, he acknowledged that he had changed his mind. He added, “I denounced it for a variety of reasons, one of which is the science is bad and it’s in great dispute,” repeating once more that there is a “scientific dispute” about the issue of climate change.

But there isn’t.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reviewed the scientific analyses on the subject in 2007 and found that it is “very likely” — greater than 90 percent certainty — that most of the increase in global temperatures since the mid-20th century was due to increased greenhouse gas emissions. The American Association of the Advancement of Science wrote in 2007, “The scientific evidence is clear: global climate change caused by human activities is occurring now, and it is a growing threat to society.” The National Academy of Sciences also agrees that global warming is real and largely man-made.

Pawlenty has shifted from saying that global warming is real and human-caused to voicing skepticism about the science. In a 2007 press release, he said, “[O]ur global climate is warming, at least in part due to the energy sources we use. We cannot solve it by ourselves, but we need to lead and do our part. We also need to push for an effective national and international effort.”

And at the National Governors Association Meeting he said, “We should have listened to President Carter… We should not spend time on voices that say [climate change] is not real.” But, in December 2009 when asked about the Copenhagen Climate Change summit, he said the science was “unsettled.”

Leaked e-mails from Fox News Washington managing editor Bill Sammon asked its journalists to “refrain from asserting that the planet has warmed (or cooled) in any given period without IMMEDIATELY pointing out that such theories are based upon data that critics have called into question.”

Gov. Mitt Romney has acknowledged this fact. Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman has reflected the GOP standard on cap and trade, while once supporting it like Mr. Pawlenty, now saying that it can’t be done in the recession. And that’s the position of most Republicans. Republicans like Sen. John McCain and Lindsey Graham supported a cap-and-trade plan, but fears of a bad economy and being attacked from the right led them to disavow the plan.

Watch it:




Comment posted June 28, 2011 @ 2:50 pm

The science is very bad. It keeps telling conservatives what they don’t want to hear. Data has a liberal bias anyway.

Comment posted June 28, 2011 @ 3:03 pm

Yes facts and likelihood of 90% chance is bad science.

The thing that these extreme religious money grubbing Right wing nuts don’t get is that Science doesn’t EVER say we are 100%, Science is built to prove itself WRONG! It wakes up every day saying ok lets check it again, lets find faults lets improve, grow and know.

Not I believe its so, so it has to be so.

the whole creationism over evolutionism …..

Comment posted June 28, 2011 @ 4:07 pm

Jesus christ. And those idiots at Fox & Friends just let him blather on it. Then he brings up the old saw about ice ages and global cooling.

“The reality of it is, the science indicates most of it, if not all of it, is caused by natural causes…”


“…and as to the potential human contribution to that, …great scientific dispute as to that issue.”


Both of these claims are 100% demonstrably FALSE and have been demonstrated as such countless times. When will someone call out Timmy on his bullshit?

Comment posted June 28, 2011 @ 4:13 pm

Do we really need another science hater in the White House?

Comment posted June 28, 2011 @ 4:39 pm

Sorry Mr. Pawlenty,

Global warming is an observable and measurable fact and has been verified by scientists.

Melting polar and Greenland ice, huge ice shelves melting in Antiarctica and falling into the sea, retreating glaciers worldwide, coastal areas in some countries disappearing bit by bit under rising waters, shorter ski seasons with snow not as deep as used to be in mountain areas, there are many signs of world wide global warming.

The countries that do not observe signs of climate change relevant to their part of the world and work to deal with them as they find or acquire the means to do so however basic or rudimentary their abilities….will be in for some unpleasant surprises if they do not work in some way to adapt to new ways of living and coping to the cimate changes in time.
That is why we need US presidents who are wise to these realities and who have the will to plan for them.

charles thompson
Comment posted June 28, 2011 @ 6:46 pm

Science bad. Tim good. Campaign naked dragging Michelle around by the hair. It’s graphic, but you’ll be surprised how well it sells.

Comment posted June 28, 2011 @ 7:44 pm

The Republican Party is dominated by anti-intellectualism and anti-science and has been this way for quit some time. Perhaps the most popular recent account of this is Christ Mooney’s “The Republican War on Science.”

Some other observations on conservative anti-intellectualism:

a. Some political scientists have claimed that the more reliable predictor of voting behavior in the 2008 election was one’s score on a test of authoritarianism, with McCain supporters scoring the highest, Clinton supporters less so, and Obama supporters least of all. What’s authoritarianism associated with?: conformity, dogmatism, relatively low levels of openness to new experience, relatively lower scores on tests of creativity, conventionalism, and anti-intellectualism.

b. The people who do most of the thinking in our society–educators, scientists, academics and artists– vote in overwhelming numbers for Democrats and other left of center parties. In 2008 only around 7-8% of scientists voted for McCain.

c. America is unique among the developed countries in its levels of high religiosity. Many Christians hold views that contradict scientific knowledge. Opposition to evolution in the US is at levels that place us among the level of acceptance of evolution found in developing countries. Scarily large numbers of Americans have utterly superstitious and pre-modern ideas about the universe: More Americans believe in angels than evolution. Up to 25% of the public thinks that the sun rotates about the earth. Large numbers believe in a heaven and hell. (Using the best current thinking in cosmology and astronomy, please tell me where these superstitious realms are supposed to be located.) Other social scientists have claimed that religious service attendance was the biggest predictor of voting behavior in 2008. And the Republican party has the dubious distinction of winning in this category.

Given the magnitude of the potential changes due to climate change, this is one area of scientific literacy that we absolutely cannot afford to be lax about when it comes to our elected officials.

Instead of Pawlenty’s idiotic statements on climate change, we should be talking about how to bring every student in the US up to speed on the science behind climate change, our destruction of ocean ecosystems (if you haven’t already heard of it, google the Programme on the State of the Ocean and be prepared for a potentially life-altering shock), our radically unsustainable use of natural resources (see the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment), and humanity’s role in the ongoing great extinction of wildlife.

When an attempt is made to correct this country’s scientific and environmental science illiteracy, it’s met with opposition from conservatives: http://www.foxnews.com/us/2011/06/27/maryland-adds-environmental-literacy-in-high-schools/

So, what’s it going to be America? Are we going to solve our pressing problems using science, or are we, like Tim Pawlenty and the Republican Party, going to stick our heads straight up our asses and sing “ignorance is bliss” until Jesus returns?

Are you a drooling, scientifically illiterate moron? The Republican Party welcomes you with open arms.

Pawlenty: The science is ‘bad’ when it comes to global warming – Minnesota Independent | CARBON CREDITS
Pingback posted June 29, 2011 @ 12:14 am

[...] Pawlenty: The science is ‘bad’ when it comes to global warmingMinnesota IndependentThe National Academy of Sciences also agrees that global warming is real and largely man-made. Pawlenty has shifted from saying that global warming is real and human-caused to voicing skepticism about the science. In a 2007 press release, he said, … [...]

Jeff Wilfahrt
Comment posted June 29, 2011 @ 5:21 am

He claims he left the state of MN in the black, he claims he didn’t raise taxes (my property tax statement says otherwise), he claims …. he claims …. he claims.

Slapshot Chameleon Tim wants the White House so bad he’ll claim anything and do it in any drawl or accent necessary. Can’t wait ’til he starts campaigning in non-white districts of Latino, Hmong, Somali and Black Americans. It is going to be some show, if he shows.

Jeff Wilfahrt, Rosemount, MN

Comment posted June 29, 2011 @ 9:06 am

Here we go again. T-Paw believes the world was created 6,000 years ago despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary and calls this faith. But he now minimizes the anthropomorphic contributions to global warming despite over whelming evidence in its favor and calls the science unsettled.

Given he wants to be President, I would like to know his criteria for distinguishing fact from non-fact.

Praise Jebus, God hates science, Amen.

Comment posted June 30, 2011 @ 9:06 am

This coming from noted , War Hero / Economics Professor and Bio Scientist… T Paw??? Really Gov. T bags?? Please go away while the rest of us clean up after your disastrous Governorship / Dictatorship..

Comment posted July 18, 2011 @ 1:20 pm

T-Paw, He did nothing in MN but kick the can to this current bunch of dipsticks who just kicked it again- do they think they are playing soccer? Now the lawyer disputes scientisits and says “The science is bad”. Its good to see that the current polls are clear as they can be – as they say, you have as much of a chance as if hell could freeze over……………..:)

Comment posted July 18, 2011 @ 2:03 pm

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report was has been completely discredited. The “evidence” it contains was exposed as either false, misleading, or in some cases, fabricated. That anyone would cite this UN panel or its work as proof that human activity is responsible for climate change is ludicrous.

The fact is that the climate on Earth has been in a constant state of flux throughout it’s entire existence. There have been warm periods as well as ice ages. For billions of years the Earth’s climate has been changing, and we humans have been around for what, a paltry couple hundred thousand years?

One of the warmest periods in history was back before the industrial revolution, when we humans had a “green” economy. The simple fact is that energy output of the sun has a much greater impact on the Earth’s climate than anything we humans are doing.

The sun has a roughly 11-year cycle of fluctuating energy output, but this most recent cycle has been marked by diminished output. The current projection is that the next cycle will continue this trend, so if anything we should see a period of cooling rather than warming. It’s nothing to be alarmed about. The sun will keep shining for several billion more years, but its cycles have a very direct effect on the climate here on Earth.

The climate change “scientists” have a regrettable habit of stonewalling FOIA requests for their data, and when they are forced to respond they say that the original raw data was lost so that all they can provide is the data they massaged to fit their pre-conceived conclusions.

Even if you suspend your disbelief in their data, all that they’ve been able to show is that during a certain period of time the temperature was rising. (It has actually been falling in the past decade, but was rising during much of the 20th century.) The simple fact that it was rising during that period does not in any way PROVE that human activity was the cause. Indeed, there is no evidence of a causal relationship at all. If you really want to understand what drives the climate, then look for correlations between average ambient temperature on Earth with the solar flux output of the sun.

Comment posted July 18, 2011 @ 2:38 pm

That’s not true at all. If it was, you’d have the good sense to provide links to reputable research, not merely offer opinion.

Comment posted July 18, 2011 @ 3:05 pm

I’m not sure how to insert links on this site, but here are a few URLs I found doing a quick search.







Here’s an older one:


There are many more examples out there, if you care to look. In my opinion, the whole climate change alarmism movement is much more about political activism than it is about the climate. I work with people who have PhD’s in physics, meteorology and other hard sciences and engineering, and without exception they tell me that this is all nonsense. I see no reason not to believe them.

Comment posted July 18, 2011 @ 3:06 pm

Oh, good. I see the links worked. Happy reading! :)

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