For the second time today, Mitt Romney dodged a question about Hurricane Sandy and climate change.
After standing by as his supporters drowned out a question about climate change with chants of “USA! USA!”, Mitt Romney was confronted again at a rally today in Virginia about his climate silence. An audience member on the rope line asked Mitt Romney “Given Hurricane Sandy, how would you address climate change as president?”
The opportunity to connect the dots was there for the second time today, but once again Romney dodged.
“Take a look at my book,” he said, “there’s a whole section on it.”
He then makes a gesture as if he’s writing a book (or asking for the check at a restaurant) and moves on to shake more hands.
What does his book have to say about climate change?
In No Apology, Romney lays out, in very careful language, the case both for and against human-caused global climate change. Some believe in it, he writes, some don’t. And then, in what has become his go-to move, the former governor comes to this fork in the road and takes it:
“Whether or not you agree that the climate is changing and that human beings have something to do with it, assume for the sake of argument that both positions are accurate.”
Which he has done, saying the expedient thing at different times: In New Hampshire, he is open to human beings having something to do with climate change: “Do I think the world is getting hotter? Yeah, I don’t know that, but I think that it is. I don’t know if it’s mostly caused by humans. . . “
In Pittsburgh, he isn’t: “My view is that we don’t know what’s causing climate change on this planet. And the idea of spending trillions and trillions of dollars to try to reduce CO2 emissions is not the right course for us.”
In both cases, he says he won’t change his energy policy based on climate change. He dodges.
Hurricane Sandy has shown that the time for taking both sides of this issue is over. Climate change is real. It’s here. We need our leaders to address it, not dodge it.
New York City’s mayor Michael Bloomberg knows this. Just today, Bloomberg cast his lot with Barack Obama in an op-ed with the headline, “A Vote For A President to Lead on Climate Change”: "Our climate is changing. And while the increase in extreme weather we have experienced in New York City and around the world may or may not be the result of it, the risk that it may be — given the devastation it is wreaking — should be enough to compel all elected leaders to take immediate action.”
Sandy didn’t dodge New York, and Romney can’t dodge climate change.