Newt Gingrich On Science, Climate Policy And Trump

  • Date: 04/02/17
  • Climate Etc.

 I’m very skeptical of the stuff that Obama agreed to in dealing with climate change.

At the annual meeting of the National Council for Science and the Environment (NCSE), Newt Gingrich made a very interesting presentation, which was reported in an EOS article.

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Newt Gingrich, speaking at a conference in January, offered a blueprint for working with the Trump administration on science and environmental issues. Credit: David Blockstein/NCSE

Excerpts:

Gingrich was not the usual fare for an NCSE conference, and he acknowledged that at the beginning of his talk, saying, “I realize that, particularly with all of the changes of the last few days, that having a right-wing Republican show up [at this conference] is probably not what all of you have signed up for.”

When asked why Gingrich was invited to speak, NCSE provided Eos with a written statement referring to the “shifting political landscape” and the importance of “hearing all perspectives.” 

Former House Speaker urges thoughtful, aggressive, articulate arguments to influence an administration that he says generally lacks its own plan.

“You can hunker down and decide you want to be oppositionist and that you are going to hate everything and life will be terrible,” or you can dig in and work with the administration, said Gingrich, a former speaker of the House of Representatives.

“If you go in aggressive enough and articulate enough and have thought it through enough, you are going to shape large parts of this administration,” he said.

Gingrich in his presentation argued that the new administration has a focus on science, engineering, and technology. He pointed to Trump’s inaugural address, which calls for “unlock[ing] the mysteries of space” and “harness[ing] the energies, industries and technologies of tomorrow.”

“Part of your challenge here is for you to feed back to them and say, ‘Look, if you want to achieve these goals, this is the kind of investment that you have to make,’” he told the audience.

However, he said, there can be measures that move toward sustainability that are compatible with the administration’s goals. He pointed to Tesla as an example and the increasing popularity of electric vehicles.

After his speech, Gingrich told Eos that Trump should balance America’s economic interests related to climate change. Gingrich added, though, “I’m very skeptical of the stuff that Obama agreed to” in dealing with climate change.

JC reflections

Well, one good thing that is emerging from the Trump administration is increasing open mindedness in scientific and environmental organizations.  Hard to imagine Newt Gingrich being invited to such a meeting under the Obama administration.

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