Back in 2008, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich caught a lot of heat for participating in Al Gore's
However, nearly two years later with Democrats in control of Congress and the White House and moving aggressively on climate change legislation with draconian regulations on carbon emissions, Gingrich still maintains conservatives should have a voice in the debate. Speaking to a group of bloggers at the Heritage Foundation on April 13, Gingrich contended there’s still a need for a so-called green conservatism.
“First of all, I did the commercial with Pelosi to make a case that conservatives ought to be prepared to stand in the arena and debate,” Gingrich said. “I also debated John Kerry on the same premise. I wrote a book called ‘Contract with the Earth’ arguing we need a green conservatism. I’m very happy to say you want to reduce carbon-loading in the atmosphere – by the way I don’t know if there’s global warming or not and neither does anybody else.”
Gingrich alluded to a 1922 National Weather Service report that reported Arctic sea ice was melting as part of a long-occurring trend, but it didn’t allege that was the result of manmade gases causing the melting.
“There’s a great 1922 report by the Weather Service on the fact that the Arctic ice has melted and that you can now go further north in the
Gingrich continued his critique of the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, but explained that his idea were more in line with some proven uses of alternative energy like nuclear power and some that have not yet been proven, like clean coal technology.
“If I see a vote of scientist on watching politics, it’s political science,” Gingrich said. “It’s not science. Science is about facts, argumentation, theory, etc. Second, I’m happy to say that it’s very likely that carbon-loading the atmosphere is going up. It’s not like we understand what it means, it’s going up. So if you want to be prudent – I think the case as a conservative, you be cautious – let’s reduce carbon loading the atmosphere. If we went to the French level of nuclear power for electricity, you take 2 billion tons of carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere. I’m happy to do that. I’m happy to go to clean coal and to have the use of excess carbon to strengthen old oil fields by infusion, which could actually increase American reserves of oil dramatically. There are a lot of things you could do that are practical, common sense.”
The House of Representatives passed the Waxman-Markey climate change legislation in June 2009, but the Senate has yet to put its version of the legislation forth. However, as Rich Lowry pointed out for National Review after the bill’s passage, this bill will do little to solve this so-called problem at a high cost on the American economy. Whether or not Gingrich’s willingness to participate in Gore’s campaign will affect the ultimate outcome of this debate remains to be seen, but Gingrich explained the current legislative efforts were “pure socialist.”
“What I’m opposed to is a centralized command bureaucracy raising the cost of the American economy, driving factories to