Jeb Bush accepts that the climate is changing, but he is less certain about the notion, supported by an overwhelming number of scientists, that human activities have contributed to the problem.
The former governor of Florida weighed in on the matter Tuesday during a town hall in Derry, New Hampshire, his first campaign stop since announcing his run for president earlier this week.
"The climate is changing, whether men are doing it or not," Bush said, further calling for “policies of adaptation” to prep for its harmful consequences across the country.
Bush also drew applause when he said he remained "a little skeptical" about taking advice on issues like climate change from Pope Francis, who is expected to call for urgent action on climate change, which the pontiff describes as mostly man-made.
Bush, who converted to Catholicism 20 years ago, told town hall attendees that Francis is an "extraordinary leader" and "really cool," but that "religion ought to be about making us better as a people and less about things that end up getting into the political realm."
The governor is not the only candidate in the race for the Republican presidential nomination to acknowledge the existence of climate change. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), an environmentally friendly Republican, has promised to "address climate change, CO2 emissions in a business-friendly way.” Candidates like Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), the Sunshine State's other native son, and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), however, have explicitly denied humanity's contribution to climate change.