The subject led to one of the debate’s strongest exchanges, with the presenters addressing 20 minutes later: “Raise your hand if you think climate change is caused by human activity”, they said. Asked eight contestants for White. House.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, currently second in the polls behind Donald Trump, truncated the question, allowing candidates to have their hands free regardless of their actual answer. But one of them, businessman Vivek Ramasamy, who stands to benefit from the polls’ surge, jumped at the chance.
“Spreading the climate change thesis is a hoax,” he said. “The reality is that more people die from bad climate policies than die from climate change.”
A little earlier, he called for “liberating America’s energy potential,” specifically by “burning coal.”
Democratic Party leader Joe Biden immediately responded on X (formerly Twitter): “Climate change is real.”
And reactions rocketed among climate experts.
The Republican Party is “a threat not only to the nation, but to the planet,” said Michael Mann, a prominent climatologist at the University of Pennsylvania.
Calling the row “the worst in politics”, the group Climate Power noted that Vivek Ramaswamy had provoked the public by using a false term. “Republicans will face the consequences of their refusal at the polls,” the organization said.
“Young Americans, including 88% of conservatives, want an action plan on climate change,” added Christopher Barnard, president of the American Defense Coalition.
The right-wing organization, in contrast, applauded the statements of Nikki Haley, the only female Republican candidate.
“Is climate change real? Yes, it is,” she admitted alone. “But if you really want to change the environment, we have to start telling China and India to cut their emissions.”
Syracuse University professor Farhana Sultana criticized the stance, accusing the candidate of seeking to deflect responsibility by blaming other forces.
According to data from the International Energy Agency (IEA), China emits twice as much CO2 as the US annually, but per capita emissions are much higher in the US, which has historically emitted more CO2 than China.
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