Mitt Romney, maybe you need to go back to college.
The Republican nominee for president has shifted in the past year from accepting that “the world is getting warmer” and “humans contribute” to climate change, to mocking President Obama for vowing to do something about it, to suggesting it could be happening but there’s no scientific consensus on it. But a new study finds Romney’s latest contention is at odds with the published work of professors at Harvard, Stanford and Brigham Young, the universities Romney attended.
The Cambridge, Mass., nonprofit Better Future Project said 96.7 percent of the professors at that trio of schools who have published on climate change agree with the scientific consensus that the planet is getting warmer and humans are to a great extent driving the process.
Romney wasn’t the only pol to fare poorly in this study. Sen. Scott Brown and several House candidates from Massachusetts have “either at times publicly question(ed) whether or not the consensus exists, or fail(ed) to take a position on it,” contrary to the views of their professors. This underscored the point of the study: The science on climate change, while not unanimous on every detail, is firmly established on the central points, no matter what the politicians say.
The report “merely seeks to demonstrate the gap that exists between the scientific community and the political community on the issue of climate science,” Better Future Project said. “Nothing in this report should be construed as an endorsement of any candidate for any position. Rather, this report is an endorsement of the idea that science should inform policy, and that candidates who reject the consensus of our nation’s experts should publicly declare which sets of experts they look to when making policy decisions.”
President Obama has been criticized by many on the left as timid in taking on climate change, but he’s never wavered in accepting the scientific consensus. The Better Future Project research showed that eight out of eight professors at Occidental College who have published in peer reviewed journals on climate change accept the consensus; 30 of 30 at Columbia do, as well; and all 16 at Harvard are on board.
In fact, out of the 203 professors in the study who had published on climate change, only one – one! – did not accept that climate change is real and humans are largely responsible. That one was at BYU, where Romney spent most of his undergraduate years and received his bachelor’s in English, after a freshman year at Stanford.
See a PDF version of the entire study, including an analysis of Romney, Obama and candidates for Congress in Massachusetts, here.