POLITICS

Kasich On Climate Change: 'I Just Don't Know Enough About It'

"I think there are things we can do to protect the environment. We should. But we shouldn't worship the environment."

Ohio governor and Republican presidential candidate John Kasich says he believes in the concept of climate change, but not necessarily the actual science.

Hedging his response to a question about climate change at a town hall meeting in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, on Wednesday, Kasich said there are "natural cycles of science," but that he didn't know enough about the subject to say how much humans are causing it. 

"Do I believe there is something called climate change? I do. Do I think that human beings affect it? I do. How much? Not enough for me to go out and cost somebody their job," said Kasich. "I don't know that that's why you have flooding. I just don't know enough about it."

In video of the event posted online, an audience member asks a follow-up question about the role greenhouse gas emissions produced by the burning of fossil fuels play in global warming.

"Well, again, I don’t know that's scientifically proven that it's because we have emissions and that's what's happening," Kasich said, before trailing off. "Let me just stay there before I wade into another controversial area. Uh, but let me just say to you that I think there are things we can do to protect the environment. We should. But we shouldn't worship the environment."

Kasich generally gets credit as a moderate who believes in climate change, having previously said it's a "problem," but one that he doesn't think we should "overreact to." And he's used the line about not "worshiping" the environment before. 

But his comments this week reflect his continued reluctance to actually engage with the science of global warming or the solutions that could address it.

“Kasich's latest admission is further proof that he espouses the same out-of-touch views as the rest of the Republican presidential field," said Democratic National Committee spokeswoman Kaylie Hanson via email. "Republicans should get it together and join Democrats who are facing the reality of a changing climate and pushing policies that will preserve our planet." 

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