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flo's avatar

Why did Newt Gingrich toss the chapter about climate change from his book?

Asked by flo (13151points) October 26th, 2014

Here is the link.
I don’t understand his answer. What is his position anyway?
Also, re. the question by the woman in asking N.G “Why would you want someone like that….?” What does the woman think is wrong with katherine Hayhoe?

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8 Answers

stanleybmanly's avatar

who knows? Things aren’t going well for climate change and global warming deniers.

LostInParadise's avatar

I assume that Gingrich is on the wrong side of climate change like he is about everything else. He must have assumed that Hayhoe would be a climate change denier because she is a Fundamentalist. It must have been quite a shock for him to see what she wrote for his book.

Kropotkin's avatar

Gingrich may well privately accept the overwhelming evidence supporting anthropogenic global warming. He’s supposedly regarded as a “green conservative” and tries to frame environmental issues in a conservative narrative.

Gingrich was also a Republican Presidential candidate at the time. He’d have been aware of polling information (what his potential voters want to hear), and the various signals from the right-wing media that either approve or disapprove of what he’s saying and endorsing. You’ll note that the woman in the video referred to Rush Limbaugh.

For Gingrich to have gained popular support from the conservative base, he would have had to disassociate himself from climate change—which he did. If you read some of the things he says on the matter, he comes across as very vague and non-committal. He either has to forget any principles and lie, or already disbelieve or be grossly misinformed about climate change.

Why is climate change such a politically polarising issue? Why are conservative Republican voters less likely to support a candidate who endorses action against anthropogenic climate change?

There’s quite a sophisticated system of propaganda in the US. The US is a business run society where everything from popular culture to the media is shaped to suit capitalist interests.

The most popular media sources are profit driven and corporate owned, and this leads to framing narratives and restricting the discourse to various “issues” that happen to suit rich elite and corporate interests. These same elites and corporations also happen to influence the political process through campaign donations and lobbying of government.

The end result (I’m skipping a lot of analysis for the sake of brevity) is an illusioned public who become polarised around various emotive “issues”, but never really question the underlying system. Politicians, who represent the rich and various corporate sectors, say things that their particular voters and potential voters like to hear—and those voters like to hear what they want to hear, because their opinions have been shaped by the very corporate media that they rely on.

RocketGuy's avatar

Ameliorating climate change will also be expensive. Businesses don’t want to pay, and richer people don’t want to pay more than poorer people.

flo's avatar

Thank you all so much. That was quite a detailed answer. @Kropotkin Thank you.

dappled_leaves's avatar

I think that @LostInParadise‘s answer is the most likely. Hayhoe has been doing the rounds in the media, and she is a Christian evangelist who accepts that climate change is anthropogenic and that it is everyone’s moral duty to fight it. This must have been a shock to right-wing Gingrich, who probably just assumed that “Christian” meant “climate change denier”. She’s off-message, as far as he’s concerned.

Kropotkin's avatar

I should make a correction. It was a bit after the Presidential election. Gingrich dropped the chapter after getting flak from in the right-wing media about it

@dappled_leaves That’s not likely at all.

Gingrich used to be explicit about accepting the scientific consensus on climate change, and that action needed to be taken. He even made this advert with Nancy Pelosi about it.

Hayhoe had written the chapter in 2009, two years before the book was published in 2011, and a mere year after Gingrich did his advert about tackling anthropogenic climate change.

Gingrich isn’t a moron. He knew Hayhoe was a climate scientist. Gingrich himself likely still supported action against climate change when Hayhoe was asked to write the chapter.

flo's avatar

@Kropotkin Very appreciated.

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