NEW YORK -- Jeb Bush is hoping to be the Republican candidate for the 2016 presidential election. That means he must deny science… or at least espouse extreme ambivalence towards it.
Speaking on Wednesday in New Hampshire, the brother of George W. Bush, who has spent the past week stumbling on questions pertaining to his family’s blood-soaked legacy in Iraq, offered the now-standard Republican position: climate change is happening, but man might not be to blame.
Bush speaks to supporters during a fundraising event in Florida
Reporter by Reuters, Bush said: "Look, first of all, the climate is changing. I don't think the science is clear what percentage is man-made and what percentage is natural. It's convoluted. And for the people to say the science is decided on, this is just really arrogant, to be honest with you."
This is at least an advance on the previous GOP line: climate change is a hoax.
He then berated scientists for doing science: "It's this intellectual arrogance that now you can't even have a conversation about it. The climate is changing, and we need to adapt to that reality.”
Saying humans might not be to blame for the Earth’s rising temperature means companies responsible for carbon emissions require no curbing… especially those that donate monies to political campaigns.
In November last year, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) said that it was extremely likely that climate change is the product of human activity (a 95% probability).
Bush’s entry into the politics of climate change followed a reframing of the argument by President Barack Obama, who on Wednesday called climate change deniers a “threat to national security.”
Bush responded by saying the US should encourage states that have increased carbon emissions, but lambasted the president for not pushing for a shift towards new technologies and natural gas.
"If the president thinks this is the gravest threat to our national security, it seems like he would say, 'let's expand LNG (liquefied natural gas) as fast as we can to get it into the hands of higher carbon-intense economies like China and other places,” he said.
During a foreign policy think tank discussion in London in February, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, another likely presidential candidate, refused to answer whether he believed in evolution.