Politics: Hagel wins support from climate activists for DOD post -- 01/07/2013 -- www.eenews.net
For environmentalists, the name Chuck Hagel is synonymous with America's abandonment of the world's only climate change treaty.Hagel's other label: Anti-green - Darren Samuelsohn - POLITICO.com
But with Hagel facing myriad attacks as President Obama's likely nominee for secretary of Defense, the man who helped kill the 1997 Kyoto Protocol is now getting a wary embrace from the very policymakers who crafted and backed the agreement.
"This is not a disaster," said Eileen Claussen, president of the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions, who served as assistant secretary for oceans and environment in the State Department during the Kyoto negotiations. "I don't see him as being a negative."
In interviews over the past few weeks, environmental leaders and former Hagel aides said Hagel was never a climate skeptic.
Speaking on the Senate floor, Hagel touted writings by skeptics Fred Singer, Richard Lindzen and John Christy and warned that "the scientific community has simply not yet resolved the question of whether we have a problem with global warming."
"I suggest, again, that common sense dictates you don't come up with a solution to a problem until you are certain that you have a problem. However, the Clinton administration has proceeded to negotiate a solution before we have a confirmation that there is a problem," Hagel said then.
In a 2005 interview with the environmental magazine Grist, Hagel said he has always believed that "climate change is a cycle of the world." When pressed about whether he believes climate change is linked to human activity, he said, "We've known we've had an impact, absolutely, but exactly what impact human society has had on climate we're not quite sure."
And after the 2009 U.N. climate summit in Copenhagen, Denmark, he noted that "climate is changing all the time" but sidestepped the question of human involvement, saying, "I always accepted the premise that we are in this dynamic flow of climate change."
Becker credited Hagel for agreeing to meet with him in the early 2000s to discuss global warming, but the environmentalist said the message didn’t get through. “He was saying things that were just untrue. He was very charming and looked me in the eye and said, ‘I’ll look into it,’ but didn’t change his view that global warming was a crock of shit,” Becker said.