Jeb Bush says climate is changing but human role is 'convoluted'

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How Climate Change Denial Bred Uncertainty in Science

Republican Jeb Bush said on Wednesday that the Earth's climate is changing but that scientific research does not clearly show how much of the change is due to humans and how much is from natural causes.

Bush delved into climate politics during a campaign-style house party in New Hampshire at which he took questions from voters on his viewpoints as he considers whether to seek the Republican presidential nomination in 2016.

While President Barack Obama and many scientists believe humans are largely to blame for climate change, Bush said the degree of human responsibility is uncertain.

"Look, first of all, the climate is changing. I don't think the science is clear what percentage is man-made and what percentage is natural. It's convoluted. And for the people to say the science is decided on, this is just really arrogant, to be honest with you," he said.

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Jeb Bush says climate is changing but human role is 'convoluted'
President George Bush chats with brother Gov. Jeb Bush as they acknowledge cheering supporters at a fundraiser for the Republican Party of Florida at the Contemporary Resort at Disney World in Orlando, Florida, Friday, February 17, 2006. (Photo by Joe Burbank/Orlando Sentinel/MCT via Getty Images)
MACDILL AIR FORCE BASE, UNITED STATES: US President George W. Bush (R) reaches out to shake hands with his brother Florida Governor Jeb Bush (L) shortly after Air Force One arrived at MacDill Air Force Base, Florida, 09 May 2006. AFP Photo/Paul J. Richards (Photo credit should read PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images)
Washington, UNITED STATES: US President George W. Bush (L) looks on as his brother Florida Governor Jeb Bush speaks 19 April, 2006. Governor Bush was among several governors who met with the president after an Easter trip to Iraq, Afghanistan and Kuwait. AFP PHOTO/Jim WATSON (Photo credit should read JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)
President George Bush (left) and brother Gov. Jeb Bush acknowledge cheering supporters at a fundraiser for the Republican Party of Florida at the Contemporary Resort at Disney World in Orlando, Florida, Friday, February 17, 2006. (Photo by Joe Burbank/Orlando Sentinel/MCT via Getty Images)
ST. PETERSBURG, FL - OCTOBER 19: U.S. President George W. Bush (L) and his brother Florida Governor Jeb Bush (R) smile while greeting supporters during a campaign rally at Progress Energy Park October 19, 2004 in St. Petersburg, Florida. Recent polls indicate Bush is maintaining a slight lead over his Democratic challenger U.S. Sen. John Kerry (D-MA). (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
PARK CITY, UT - JANUARY 22: Jeb Bush is seen at Salt Lake City Airport on January 22, 2015 in Park City, Utah. (Photo by JOCE/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images)
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"It's this intellectual arrogance that now you can't even have a conversation about it. The climate is changing, and we need to adapt to that reality," he said.

The former Florida governor challenged Obama's determination earlier in the day that climate change is now a threat to U.S. national security.

"As a small part of U.S. foreign policy," Bush said, the United States should encourage states that have had an increase in carbon emissions to take on the challenge.

But the overall country has had a reduction in carbon emissions due to new technologies, conservation measures, higher gas mileage in vehicles and a shift toward natural gas, he said.

"If the president thinks this is the gravest threat to our national security, it seems like he would say, 'let's expand LNG (liquefied natural gas) as fast as we can to get it into the hands of higher carbon-intense economies like China and other places. Let's figure out ways to use compressed natural gas for replacing importing diesel fuel, which has a higher carbon footprint,'" Bush said.

He said that although he does not believe climate change is the "highest priority," the United States should not ignore it. (Reporting By Steve Holland; Editing by Ken Wills)






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