Year 2, Month 8, Day 22: shut up he explained.

In the Not-News-To-Anyone-Who’s-Been-Paying-Attention category, the August 4 Minnesota Star-Tribune reports that (unlike none of the other Republican presidential aspirants) Tim Pawlenty is a gutless, opportunistic, sociopath:

Former Gov. Tim Pawlenty’s position on climate change has now shifted from “one of the most important issues of our time” to questioning whether humans have had any effect on climate change at all.

In a wide-ranging interview with the Miami Herald, Pawlenty said that “the weight of the evidence is that most of it, maybe all of it, is because of natural causes. But to the extent there is some element of human behavior causing some of it — that’s what the scientific debate is about.”

It wasn’t too long ago that Pawlenty took a much more muscular approach to climate change. Shortly into his second term as governor, the Minnesota Republican made a big push for clean energy.

When he was named chair of the National Governors Association, Pawlenty had the theme of “Securing a Clean Energy Future.” He touted Minnesota legislation that set an ambitious goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions 15 percent by 2015 and 80 percent by 2050. In 2007 he said he wanted the Upper Midwest to become “the Saudi Arabia of renewable energy.”

On the other hand, he gave me the opportunity to cite, in its entirety, one of the funniest sentences ever written in English. Sent August 5:

It’s not just greenhouse emissions that are bringing on an unstable climate. Republican politicians and the Tea Party adherents to whom they are pandering are emitting steadily increasing quantities of ignorance. While we must give these anti-science, anti-environment zealots credit for absolutely right in their own minds, the facts suggest that they’re absolutely wrong everywhere else. Tim Pawlenty’s suggestion that climate change is triggered by “natural causes” reminds me of Jimmy Breslin’s Mafia-themed comic novel, “The Gang That Couldn’t Shoot Straight,” in which “Raymond the Wolf passed away in his sleep one night from natural causes; his heart stopped beating when the three men who slipped into his bedroom stuck knives in it.” Yes, Mr. Pawlenty, global warming is a totally natural response to an anthropogenic overdose of CO2. But I doubt that’s what The Governor Who Couldn’t Talk Straight meant; I think he’s been breathing too many tea fumes.

Warren Senders

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