Fiorina and Climate Change: What a Difference Eight Months Make
The latest campaign ad from Carly Fiorina, who has pulled ahead of her opponents in the California GOP’s Senate primary race, is getting a fair share of attention for its breezy dismissal of the link between national security and climate change.
“Terrorism kills … and Barbara Boxer is worried about the weather,” Fiorina tells the TV camera following a short clip of the incumbent Democratic senator playing up the security risk of global warming — an issue that has concerned the Pentagon dating back to the Bush administration.
Fiorina has taken a progressively more skeptical line on climate change and the science underpinning it since she entered the Senate race, telling reporters in November that “we should have the courage to examine the science on an ongoing basis.” But just a month before that, Fiorina was cheering on Sens. John Kerry (D-Mass.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) as they attempted to craft a consensus emissions-cutting bill that could clear the upper chamber of Congress.
As Fiorina told Fox News’ Neil Cavuto in October, according to the official transcript:
I was interested … to see an op-ed yesterday in The New York Times co-authored by Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and John Kerry of Massachusetts, because they are trying to take a bipartisan approach to the twin issues of climate change and energy independence.
I was delighted to see them call for bipartisanship and delighted, as well, to see them call for a recognition that both achieving energy independence and addressing climate change as equally important goals, and that, if we do it right, we can create opportunity, we can create jobs, and we can create American leadership.
Of course, Graham has since abandoned the front lines of climate negotiations, arguing that the Deepwater Horizon oil disaster precludes any successful deal to expand offshore drilling in a future bill. Those shifting sands provide Fiorina with political cover — but conservative primary voters in California might be surprised to hear her cheering on attempts to get a handle on “the weather” just eight months ago.