George Pataki wants the Republican Party to stop questioning 'science that everyone accepts'

Former New York Gov. George Pataki.
(Image credit: Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images)

When asked about climate change during CNBC's undercard Republican presidential debate, former New York Gov. George Pataki was adamant about one thing: It's real and it's happening right now.

"One of the things that troubles me about the Republican Party is too often we question science that everyone accepts," he said. "I mean, it's ridiculous that in the 21st century, we're questioning whether or not vaccines are the appropriate way to go; of course they are. It's also not appropriate to think that human activity, putting CO2 into the atmosphere, doesn't make the Earth warmer. All things being equal, it does. It's uncontroverted."

Pataki went on to say he believes "part of the problem is Republicans think about climate change, and say 'Oh my God, I'm gonna have higher taxes, more Obama, more big government, the EPA shutting down factories.' That's not the solution that I see. I want Republicans to embrace innovation and technology. There's one country in the world that has fewer greenhouse gas emissions than the rest of the world, you know what that is? The United States. Our emissions are lower than they were in 1995, not because of government programs but because of fracking, private sector creation." He also wants to see "far more clean energy," "next generation nuclear," and "solar panels on every home four times more efficient than they are today," with the government incentivizing "innovation and the entrepreneurial spirit in America."

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Catherine Garcia

Catherine Garcia is night editor for TheWeek.com. Her writing and reporting has appeared in Entertainment Weekly and EW.com, The New York Times, The Book of Jezebel, and other publications. A Southern California native, Catherine is a graduate of the University of Redlands and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.