Extraordinary anti-environmental science moment at GOP convention


Deep into his presidential nomination acceptance speech, after the regular-person stories and mostly content-free remarks about issues, Romney shared a remarkable moment with his delegates: “President Obama promised to begin to slow the rise of the oceans and heal the planet,” he began, then paused as these words were greeted by a wave of mocking laughter in the arena.  Did this really happen?

Text of Romney speech here.

Romney was referring back to a time when Obama actually talked a bit about taking seriously what we are learning from scientific research and beginning to address threats to the future of our children and grandchildren posed by global climatic disruption and the degradation of the global environment.  In the face of a mountain of evidence, do Romney and the delegates intend to subject the country to a future of mocking rejection of such environmental and scientific concerns?  While accusing their opponents of dividing the country?

Romney also said, of Obama: “His assault on coal and gas and oil will send energy and manufacturing jobs to China.” (This after praising Steve Jobs, who sent Apple manufacturing jobs to China, and as a champion and practitioner of the kind of corporate-driven ‘free trade’ that has exported much of the U.S. manufacturing base.)

What on Earth is he talking about?  Addressing global climatic disruption in a fundamental way would require an expedited phase-out of the fossil fuel-based energy system during the next few decades and its replacement with a highly-efficient system based on alternative energy.  But this is hardly characterisitic of Obama’s position, which the administration articulates as an ‘all of the above’ approach to energy.

The White House highlights its fossil fuel development policies. “Over the last three years, I’ve directed my administration to open up millions of acres for gas and oil exploration across 23 different states. We’re opening up more than 75 percent of our potential oil resources offshore. We’ve quadrupled the number of operating rigs to a record high. We’ve added enough new oil and gas pipeline to encircle the Earth and then some,” Obama said in a March speech in Oklahoma.

“Thanks to recent advances in technology we now have access to a nearly 100-year supply of natural gas, and our ability to tap into that supply will bring significant economic, geopolitical, and other benefits,” his top White House energy policy assistant says. “The Administration sees tremendous potential. That’s why we continue to take concrete steps to allow for increased domestic production for both conventional and unconventional gas. On federal lands and in factories we’re taking a number of important steps in the next couple of weeks to open new areas for development. … The Administration has made an overall investment of 5 billion dollars in clean coal technologies and research and development. Today there are projects being launched across the United States on carbon capture and gasification projects that are creating jobs and allowing us to move the needle forward in a meaningful way. … 90 percent of enhanced oil recovery in the world is happening here in the United States, thanks in large part to many of the investments from our Administration.”

Not much there about healing the planet. What might we expect to see done differently under a Romney administration?  Adding to the multi-billion dollar set of subsidies for the fossil fuel industry built into current law and budgets?  Or shredding environmental protection regulations that in some cases are already being delayed or slow-walked by the administration under industry pressure?

Joe Romm at Climate Progress: Romney Mocks Obama’s Pledge To Address Global Warming — As GOP Delegates Laugh At The Whole Notion

Earlier posts:

Climate scientist Ray Pierrehumbert: “Paul Ryan Is a Climate Change Denialist”

White House energy policy talk has ‘all of the above’ except climate change

Still drunk on oil: Obama’s speech in Cushing

End Polluter Welfare Act would eliminate more than $110 billion in subsidies to the fossil fuel industry

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7 Responses to Extraordinary anti-environmental science moment at GOP convention

  1. retox says:

    That’s about right.

    This group says some really dumb $h!t and they love to hijack religion to prey on the ignorant.

    Akin says women can’t get pregnant during rape.

    Frank Szabo says if elected Sheriff, he will use deadly force (shooting doctors) to prevent abortions.

    Paul Ryan lists Rage against the Machine as one of is favorite bands to which Rage responds, “I wonder what Ryan’s favorite Rage song is? Is it the one where we condemn the genocide of Native Americans? The one lambasting American imperialism? Our cover of “Fuck the Police”? Or is it the one where we call on the people to seize the means of production? So many excellent choices to jam out to at Young Republican meetings! Don’t mistake me, I clearly see that Ryan has a whole lotta “rage” in him: A rage against women, a rage against immigrants, a rage against workers, a rage against gays, a rage against the poor, a rage against the environment. Basically the only thing he’s not raging against is the privileged elite he’s groveling in front of for campaign contributions.”

  2. Mike Mangan says:

    Romney, Ryan, and the Republicans are in perfect sync with the vast majority of voters on this subject. Will you whine when “climate change” is ignored next week at the DNC?

    • Rick - Climate Science Watch says:

      We will be highly critical of the Democrats if they don’t talk about climate change at their convention next week. As for public opinion, see this post and associated links:


      As Joe Romm notes: “The fact remains that the public strongly supports climate action and aggressive clean energy policies even during the deep recession, even in the face of an unprecedented fossil-fuel-funded disinformation campaign during the climate bill debate — even without the White House using its bully pulpit to tip the scales further.”

  3. D. R. Tucker says:

    “50 years from now what will they say about us here?/
    Did we care for the water and the fragile atmosphere?/
    There are only 2 kinds of folk/
    And the difference they make/
    The ones that give/
    And the ones that take”

    Prince, “Planet Earth,” 2007

  4. Anne says:

    Chris Matthews, on Hardball this evening, admits disgust at Romney’s dismissive comment about climate change, citing recent trips to Columbia and Alaska where he observed “manifest” impacts of climate change. He reminds his audience that in the 1960s, people who talked like Romney did last night were often referred to as “pigs.” Self-centered, over-consumptive, insensitive, and narrow-minded come to mind as the intended definition of the word used in this way (as opposed to using the word to denigrate the police). One must wonder, what were his speech writers thinking? They should be fired, as, they really blew it, in my view and the views of others at NYT and elsewhere. This argument is also adeptly made by Joe Romm in an article posted today on HuffPo: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/joseph-romm/speechless-how-mitt-romne_b_1847440.html re: Leadership and climate change: Just when we say, “cheer up, it could be worse,” sure enough, it gets worse. Oy!

  5. Pingback: A worrisome wet wake-up call from the Arctic | Science Matters | David Suzuki Foundation

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