Climate Change Politics at Home

Dec 2, 2015

As President Obama attends the Paris climate talks, Republican presidential hopefuls are making waves with their statements about global warming back home. Earlier this week, Jeb Bush said he might not have attended the climate talks if he was president. Most other GOP candidates are falling into one of two camps.

"One position is that there has not been global warming and that's one particular position," says Dennis Goldford, professor of political science at Drake University and Flansburg Fellow at the Harkin Institute for Public Policy and Citizen Engagement.

That's a position taken up by Republican Senator Ted Cruz of Texas.

"The second position is to say, 'Yes we've had global warming but it is not due to human activity so there's nothing really we can do about it,'" says Goldford. "The third position is, 'Global warming is real and because of the use of carbon-based fuels and all of that, it has been caused by human activity and therefore if we change human activity, we can lessen if not forestall global warming.' That's the third position and that's the one you see most Democrats taking."

In this Politics Day edition of River to River, we hear All Things Considered Host Pat Blank's interview with Ted Cruz and a discussion between host Ben Kieffer and Goldford.