Huntsman on Global Warming: "The Scientific Community Owes Us More"

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Dec. 6 2011 1:06 PM

Huntsman on Global Warming: "The Scientific Community Owes Us More"

Back in August, after his campaign launch had been roundly mocked by the punditocracy, Jon Huntsman won it back with this tweet.

Huntsman-Tweet

Huntsman stopped by the Heritage Foundation today for a pleasantly wonky briefing with bloggers. (The weekly event usually brings together think tankers, bloggers and reporters for some wonking and political talk by members of Congress, accompanied by Chick-fil-A sandwiches.) Before he arrived, the assembled were treated/subjected to a video about energy exploration, courtesy of the industry-funded Institute for Energy Research -- totally unrelated, just the sort of thing that you see at think tanks occasionally. But the first audience question to Huntsman, from NewsBusters blogger Lachlan Markey, was about the environment. What role did Huntsman think that humans played in climate change

"The scientific community," he said, "owes us more about… what might lie beneath all of this."

This sounded like a flip; TPM reporter Evan McMorris-Santoro risked the ire of the crowd, which had been told to avoid pure politics, by asking if Huntsman had changed his postion.

"There are questions about the validity of science," Huntsman explained, "one raised by an university in Scotland. I'm asking for clarity, that's all... If there's some interruption or disconnect, let debate play out in scientific community." Another wonk asked whether Huntman agreed with the U.S.'s current dream of reducing emissions 17 percent by 2010. "Our goals need to follow some recognition of science by all the major emitters," he said.

Call him crazy.

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. You can reach him at daveweigel@gmail.com, or tweet at him @daveweigel.