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GOP presidential hopefuls dance around climate change

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At the Conservative Political Action Committee conference in Washington earlier this year he made his mea culpa.

“Have I changed my position? Yes," Pawlenty said. "But I'm not going to be cute about it, hem and haw, be dippy and dancy about it. Just saying yeah, it was a mistake. It was stupid. It was wrong."

Former US Rep. Sherwood Boehlert (R) of New York, a strong supporter of the environment, says he has "never been so disappointed in all my life in the pretenders to the throne from my party."

"Not one of them is being forthright in dealing with climate science," he told the Associated Press recently. "They are either trying to finesse it, or change previous positions to accommodate the far right. They are denying something that is as plain as the nose on your face."

To liberal critics, the answer is obvious: The influence of climate change denialists financially supported by the billionaire Koch brothers (David and Charles) and others tied to the oil industry.

Whether or not that’s true, there’s no denying that climate change (and environmental issues generally) carry less political weight than they did in recent years.

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