After Jeb Bush announced he was considering a presidential run in 2016, liberals began criticizing the former Florida governor for his supposedly skeptical view of man-made global warming.
“Jeb Bush may be ‘the smart brother’ – but he’s as much of a climate denier as any conservative,” wrote the left-leaning Guardian’s Suzanne Goldenberg. “When it comes to climate change, Jeb Bush is a lot more radical than his brother.”
“If elected, he’d have control over much of the American response to global warming,” wrote James West, a producer with Climate Desk. “So how would Bush address the global climate crisis? With a mixture of skepticism, avoidance, and downright denial of the science—if his track record is anything to go by.”
Climate Desk even put together a video of past statements Bush made about his views on global warming. The video shows a 2012 Fox News interview where Bush says it’s “not unanimous among scientists that [global warming] is disproportionately manmade.”
“What I get a little tired of on the left is this idea that somehow science has decided all this so you can’t have a view,” Bush told Fox News’s Neil Cavuto in 2012.
The video was used by the Daily Kos, a liberal blog, to attach Bush to a class of “plutocrats” that deby climate. Kos blogger V.L. Baker writes the “title of ‘the smart one’ seems to have gone to his head,” adding that anyone “who aligns himself with the corrupt plutocrats who are on track to destroy our civilization is living a pipe dream.”
It’s astounded liberal pundits that the former governor of Florida would be so skeptical of man-made global warming. Environmentalists and liberals often point to Florida as a sort of “ground zero” for global warming due to sea level rises.
Goldenberg contrasted Bush with his potential Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton, who told a gathering of environmental activists she would defend the climate rules put in place by President Obama.
“The unprecedented action that President Obama has taken must be defended at all costs,” Clinton told environmentalists at a dinner hosted by the League of Conservation Voters.
But the real question is not which candidate believes in man-made global warming, it’s about how much voters care about the issue. Past polls indicate that climate and the environment often rank as low priorities for the electorate.
A Pew Research poll from September found that Americans were among the least concerned about global warming when compared to other countries. Pew found that “nearly half of Americans (48%) rated global climate change as a major threat” putting behind fears of “the militant group ISIS (67%), Iran’s nuclear program (59%) and North Korea’s nuclear program (57%).”
Pew also noted that global warming “ranked near the bottom of Americans’ 2014 priorities for President Obama and Congress (28% said it was a top priority)” and only 37 percent named “global climate change as a top long-range goal; by comparison, 83% cited guarding against terrorist attacks and 81% named protecting American jobs as top goals.”
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