It’s not easy being green — and a Republican.
There was a time when it seemed like the GOP might be warming to the conclusion that scientists agree on nearly universally: That the planet is getting hotter, and that human activity is almost certainly responsible. Newt Gingrich, the former House speaker, filmed an ad with Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi calling for action on greenhouse gas emissions. Mitt Romney, the GOP front-runner, indicated that he believed global warming was real, and that carbon emissions were the culprit.
Now that they’re seeking the Republican nomination for president, however, they seem to have gotten cold feet. Both Romney and Gingrich have hedged their past statements on climate change. Even Jon Huntsman, the former Utah governor who has cast himself as the adult in the room, seems to have backed away from his infamous tweet declaring, “I believe in evolution and trust scientists on global warming. Call me crazy.” Later, when asked whether global warming was man-made, Huntsman told a crowd of Republican voters, ”I don’t know, I’m not a scientist.”
So, what’s a green Republican to do? James West of the The Climate Desk, a collaboration with Mother Jones and several other media outlets, traveled to New Hampshire, the site of this week’s crucial first primary, to find that rare breed of conservative voter who also happens to believe the science behind man-made climate change. “What my concern is, is that moderate, reasonable, enlightened, rational Republicans are not willing to step forward to ride a countervailing influence, if you will, within the Republican Party,” Farrell Seiler, founder of the New Hampshire Republicans for Climate, told West. “They don’t listen to us.”