Ryan Zinke Can’t Get Warming Right

Ryan Zinke's Science Advisor

There’s one thing that’s certain about Ryan Zinke’s position on global warming: it’s that it changes more often than the weather in Montana.

Ryan Zinke's Science Advisor
Ryan Zinke’s Science Advisor

It’s hard not to see the inconsistency in this interesting AP piece that shows the contrast between the energy plans presented by John Lewis and Ryan Zinke.

A key difference between the two men is that Lewis believes in science and Zinke believes that the earth is warming because of magic, magic that has no basis in science. This section is probably the reason Montana dailies wanted to protect their readers from the story:

But Zinke has his doubts about humanity’s role in climate change; he says rising ocean temperatures have a greater influence.

“The evidence strongly suggests that humans have had an influence on higher CO2,” Zinke said. “However, the evidence is equally as strong that there are other factors, such as rising ocean temperatures, that have a greater influence.”

That claim was disputed by a University of Montana professor and member of the Nobel Peace Prize-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Regents Professor Steve Running said Zinke’s characterization “doesn’t square with the facts at all.”

Zinke no doubt heard the oceans theory at one of the right-wing conferences he’s been attending over the past few years, conferences that helped him change his mind. I mean, after all, just back in 2010, he signed a letter to President Obama and Speaker John Boehner calling on them to pass “comprehensive clean energy jobs and climate change legislation.”

Abortion, gun control, energy policy, climate change, marijuana legalization: just a sample of the positions that Ryan Zinke has flip-flopped on in the past couple of years. One would think newspapers editors who care deeply about ethics might consider writing about that.

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About the author

Don Pogreba

Don Pogreba has been writing about Montana politics since 2005 and teaching high school English since 2000. He's a former debate coach, and loyal, if often sad, fan of the San Diego Padres and Portland Timbers. He spends far too many hours of his life working at school and on his small business, Big Sky Debate.
His work has appeared in Politico and Rewire.
In the past few years, travel has become a priority, whether it's a road trip to some little town in Montana or a museum of culture in Ísafjörður, Iceland.

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