Year 2, Month 8, Day 23: He’s Naturally Stupid.

More fun with Tim Pawlenty’s remarks, this time courtesy of the August 5 LA Times:

Tim Pawlenty said in an interview this week that the science of global warming remains unclear and that Earth’s shifting climate is more likely due to natural causes.

The interview with the Miami Herald marked the most recent example of Pawlenty’s evolution on the issue. Once an advocate of cap-and-trade policies to reduce carbon admissions, the former Minnesota governor has since recanted his support for such proposals.

As the GOP presidential candidate told the Herald’s Marc Caputo:, “Like most of the major candidates on the Republican side to varying degrees, everybody studied it, looked at it. We did the same. But I concluded, in the end some years ago, that it was a bad idea. . . . We never actually implemented it. I concluded ultimately it was a bad idea. It would be harmful to the economy. The science was I think based on unreliable conclusions.”

Expanding on the Breslin idea from yesterday. Sent August 6:

So Tim Pawlenty thinks climate change is due to “natural causes,” eh? Sure, I’ll go along with that. As long as Mr. Pawlenty agrees that lung cancer and emphysema are “natural” responses to tobacco smoking, that heart disease is a “natural” response to obesity, and that brain damage is a “natural” consequence of traumatic head injuries.

Climate change is the atmosphere’s predictable and “natural” response to massive atmospheric releases of greenhouse gases, courtesy of the world’s industrialized civilizations. To pretend otherwise is to be deliberately ignorant of basic physics and chemistry, which may be fine for a FOX-fed tea-party zealot, but should instantly disqualify any aspirant to the nation’s highest office.

Mr. Pawlenty’s readiness to pander to the most extreme examples of anti-science zealotry in his party’s base are, of course, an opportunistic response to the exigencies of twenty-first century Republican electoral politics. I guess that’s “natural,” too.

Warren Senders

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