Mike Pence (Getty/Mark Ralston)

Donald Trump's running mate Mike Pence now says that there's "no question" humans are impacting climate change

The Indiana governor's claims put him to the left of Donald Trump and the GOP — and his previous statements


Brendan Gauthier
September 28, 2016 1:25AM (UTC)

Donald Trump and his running mate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, appear to be taking opposing stances on the nature of climate change.

"Well, look, there's no question that the activities that take place in this country and in countries around the world have some impact on the environment and some impact on climate," Pence told CNN's Chris Cuomo.

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During Monday night's presidential debate, Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton had criticized repeated claims by her Republican rival, Trump, that climate change is a hoax "created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive."

Pence's acknowledgement of human contribution to climate change is not only at odds with his running mate, but contradicts statements that he has made in the past.

In 2001, Pence wrote an essay "Global Warming Disaster" on his congressional campaign website, which included in its first paragraph, "Global warming is a myth. The global warming treaty is a disaster. There, I said it."

The website of Organizing for Action, a nonprofit closely tied to President Obama and the Democratic Party, has deemed Pence a "climate change denier," citing a 2014 MSNBC interview when he argued that global warming isn't "a resolved issue in science today." Pence also said, "Just a few years ago we were talking about global warming. We haven't seen a lot of warming lately. I remember back in the '70s we were talking about the coming ice age."

A recent poll by Yale and George Mason universities found that 47 percent of conservative voters recognize the existence of climate change, a 19-point increase from the level during the midterm elections of 2014. The poll didn't ask whether  respondents believed climate change is caused by humans.

Despite conservative voters' shifting stance on the matter, the Republican National Convention passed a platform in July that, according to Scientific American, "doesn’t explicitly question the science behind climate change [and] calls for reduced funding for renewable energy."

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Brendan Gauthier

Brendan Gauthier is a freelance writer.

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