This past week, both Newt Gingrich and Al Gore testified before Congress about climate change and the Waxman-Markey draft bill designed to tackle it. Newt's appearance was remarkable both for its flippancy and for Newt's distancing of himself from comments he's made in favor of strong action on climate change--including his support for a cap and trade system. Here's video of Newt on Charlie Rose, arguing for action:
"The concept of reducing the amount of carbon emission over the next 50 years is a totally sound concept."
"And the US reaching out and saying to the world. We want to help take the lead in the kind of innovation necessary and the kind of new technology necessary. And by the way we'll share all these breakthroughs so that and China and India and others can develop with minimum environmental damage. Suddenly you just formed a consensus over what was going to be a conflict."
Adding to his support for action, here's Newt with Speaker Pelosi for the We campaign:
Here's Newt talking to PBS about how effective a cap and trade system can be:
Oh, I think the weight of evidence over time [convinced me] that it's something that you ought to be careful about. As a conservative, I think you ought to be prudent, and it seems to me that the conservative approach should be to minimize the risk of a really catastrophic change.
"The caps, with a trading system, on sulfur has worked brilliantly because it has brought free-market attitudes, entrepreneurship and technology and made it very profitable to have less sulfur. So people said, 'Wow, it's worth my time and effort.'"
But, sadly, here's video of Newt last week making light of strong action on climate and deriding the only viable climate bill out there that uses cap and trade to slash emissions. As Newt positions himself as the leader of his party, it will be interesting to watch how his position on climate action continues to evolve.
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