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Environment & Science

With a GOP debate tonight, remember: scientists are Republicans, too. Even climate scientists.

In the last couple of days, political fires have been spreading across the climate policy landscape, with Peter Gleick and Heartland Institute atop headlines. I don't think this story from Inside Climate News is trying to put them out, exactly. But with a Republican debate tonight, author Katherine Bagley might be offering a roadmap back to substantive discussion. 

Bagley tells the stories of five scientists who identify as Republican who say, in varying ways, to varying degrees, that they've given up on talking to leaders within their political party about their science. 

Kerry Emmanuel, an atmospheric scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, is one scientist who believes Republican values best align with his own. And not those of Lincoln, or Eisenhower; he's registered GOP right now: 

"No GOP candidates or policymakers want to touch the issue, and those of us trying to educate them are left frustrated," Kerry Emanuel, a registered Republican, told InsideClimate News. "Climate change has become a third rail in politics." 

The story also handily sums up what several of the remaining Republican candidates think about climate change:

Santorum has called global warming "a facade," "a hoax" and an example of the "politicization of science." Both Romney and Newt Gingrich, another candidate for the party's nomination, have stepped away from their previous stances that humans are contributing to global warming...

It's incredibly rare for scientists to tell anyone if they're registered with a political party. (I recently was suprised at a one-man staged reading of a play about Dave Keeling to learn he was a Republican, and I heard that guy speak.) The scientists' stories are worth a read before tonight's debate (I'm skeptical about the back half of the article)...which you can watch on CNN, as per usual. (OH, and listen to on KPCC from 9-11 pm.)