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Mitt Romney - Etch A Sketch - The Shake-N-Fake CandidateA bit unreasonable, since many Mormons read the Deseret, but is there reason to believe that Etch-A-Sketch Mitt Romney and other Mormon Republicans would pay more attention to the Salt Lake Tribune than many of the nation's other leading newspapers?

The Tribune's 7 July 2012 lead editorial's title:

A Hotter West:  Climate Change Effects Undeniable
Reading that title, one has to wonder what the word "undeniable" truly means.

After all, at next month's Republican National Convention, global warming denial will be an undeniably consistent element in the Republican elite's anti-science syndrome.

While once a leading voice of moderate Republicanism approaches for addressing climate change, don't expect newly minted climate-skeptic Mitt to suddenly embrace actual science and call for efforts to address "undeniable" climate change.  As the New York Times recently put it,

As governor of Massachusetts, Mitt Romney endorsed an aggressive program to reduce the state’s greenhouse gas emissions, pushed to close old coal-fired power plants and embraced wind and solar power. Then came his bids for the Republican presidential nomination, first in 2008 and now in 2012. On climate change as on other issues, he has transformed himself, bit by reactionary bit.

Today he is a proclaimed skeptic on global warming, a champion of oil and other fossil fuels, a critic of federal efforts to develop cleaner energy sources and a sworn enemy of the Environmental Protection Agency.

Mr. Romney has plainly decided that satisfying his party’s antiregulatory base is essential to his political future. But the policies he espouses would be devastating for the country and the planet.

That was from the New York Times, let's return to Salt Lake City where the editorial begins:
Are the sizzling heat and unheard-of storms Americans are suffering through this summer the result of long-term climate change? Probably. Should Utahns expect the horrific wildfires and drought to continue unabated next summer because the warnings about climate change have gone unheeded? It’s likely.
Americans -- including American editorial boards -- are awakening to the risks and realities of catastrophic climate chaos with nervous sweat.  Frying crops, burning homes, high temperature records outpacing cold temperature records at a 10-1 rate -- 2012 is providing sizzling proof that climate scientists have, for decades, been doing what scientists do:  working to discover the truth about how things work and communicate that to others.

As the Tribune continues,

It is more than mere coincidence that scientists for decades have been predicting growing numbers of devastating wildfires, hotter summers, shorter winters and decreasing snowfall in the American West — and now it’s happening.
The editorial discussed how the cold 2011 Utah summer didn't disprove climate science and concluded that
In the West, this year’s wildfire season may not be duplicated next year, but summers in coming decades will look more like 2012 than 2011.
Sadly, the path that we are on, 2012 might well be looked back on as a pleasantly cool summer in the not too distant future.

As for blame for inaction to prevent climate change, The Tribune points the finger at policy makers unwilling to take on fossil-foolish interests.

make no mistake, the trend since the beginning of the industrial revolution and its accompanying increase in burning of coal and other fossil fuels has been warmer temperatures, and that trend is expected to continue. Ice caps are melting and oceans are warming, causing more severe weather. And policy makers must shoulder the blame.
Sadly, this is only partially true -- it is not just policy makers. It is, of course, the influencers of them as well -- whether fossil foolish lobbyists and poor journalism and ...  However, the political elite certainly merit putting a good deal of the blame on their shoulders.

As the Tribune put it,

President Obama tried in his first two years in the White House to gather support for some kind of policy to limit and reduce carbon emissions, but politicians worried about losing money from extraction industries thwarted him.
The Tribune chose not to call out an entire political party for its embrace of anti-science attitudes and its determination to thwart any action to actually address mounting climate chaos or improve our understanding of climate science.

The Tribune recognizes that we have hit a tipping point, that we are already dealing with significant climate change impacts and that, no matter what we do, these will get worse:

Now the course toward a hotter planet cannot be reversed, but the speed and intensity of the warming could still be tempered. While we wait for sensible policies, scientists are helping coastal communities plan for the inevitable rising seas and severe storms.
What is truly "undeniable"?

Sensible policies will have at least four years to wait if anti-science syndrome suffering Mitt takes office next January and fills the government with anti-science global warming deniers.

And, sadly, any hope of "tempering" catastrophic climate chaos doesn't have four years to wait for sensible policies to begin.

Originally posted to Climate Hawks on Sat Jul 07, 2012 at 09:46 PM PDT.

Also republished by DK GreenRoots and Headwaters.

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