One day after Mitt Romney officially declared his candidacy, he caused something of a stir when he acknowledged at a town hall in New Hampshire, "I believe the world is getting warmer, and I believe that humans have contributed to that." This is hardly a radical idea — 97 percent of climatologists believe that human activity has played a large role in the earth's rising temperatures — but it put Romney at odds with much of the Republican party. Indeed, Rick Perry, who recently claimed the notion of anthropogenic global warming is merely a hoax perpetrated by the worldwide community of scientists, has recently rocketed to the head of the GOP primary field. It seems as if Romney noticed.
Romney was once again at a town hall in New Hampshire last night, and once again, he was asked about climate change. But this time, his support for the scientific consensus on climate change was noticeably more qualified:
"Do I think the world's getting hotter? Yeah, I don't know that but I think that it is," he said. "I don't know if it's mostly caused by humans."
It's not a total flip-flop, just a slight shift towards a philosophy that distrusts scientific evidence that doesn't conform to the ideology of the Republican base. It's hard to believe it has nothing to do with Perry's emergence. Romney was the most popular guy in high school — well liked, good grades, obviously going places — until a badass rebel from the next town over transferred and started getting all the girls' attention. Now Romney is sassing his teachers for the first time and trying to stifle his coughs as he smokes cigarettes out back behind the gymnasium.