Gingrich On Global Warming Expertise: 'I'm An Amateur Paleontologist'

Mother Jones caught this tidbit from Newt Gingrich on the campaign trail this Saturday -- On Global Warming, Gingrich Cites His Own Expertise on Dinosaurs: GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich was challenged by supporters at an event at a
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Mother Jones caught this tidbit from Newt Gingrich on the campaign trail this Saturday -- On Global Warming, Gingrich Cites His Own Expertise on Dinosaurs:

GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich was challenged by supporters at an event at a Coca Cola bottling plant in Atlantic, Iowa on Saturday, on issues ranging from faith to his consulting work for Freddie Mac to his brief support for cap-and-trade. Gingrich, flanked by his wife, Callista, his daughter Jackie, and a 20-foot-high stack of Mello Yello, told voters that anyone who accuses him of taxing carbon as a means to reduce greenhouse gas emissions is "dishonest" (evidence to the contrary notwithstanding), and then issued a curious explanation for why he doesn't trust the science on global warming: He's a scientist himself, and he knows better. [...]

"I'm an amateur paleontologist, so I've spent a lot of time looking at the earth's temperature over a very long time," Gingrich said. "I'm a lot harder to convince than just by looking at a computer model."

We've chronicled Gingrich's passion for dinosaurs. In addition to keeping a T-Rex skull in his congressional office (loaned from the Smithsonian), he twice debated famed Montana State paleontologist Jack Horner on the feeding habits of the T-Rex, with Gingrich arguing that the king of dinosaurs could not have been a scavenger because "I saw Jurassic Park and he ate a lawyer and it wasn't a dead lawyer." So while not professionally trained, his paleontological analysis clearly does carry a lot of weight.

Full transcript below the fold.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I've got (ph) a statement before I ask a question.

GINGRICH: Sure.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm licking my chops for that first debate with Obama. And secondly, I've chosen to be a speaker for you at a caucus and -

GINGRICH: Thank you. Thank you very much.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm 76 years old, and I've seen a lot of you fellows come and go, but I've only sought to shake - share the hands of two others, and they both went on the win, so I'd like to shake your hand.

GINGRICH: That was a good omen.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Now, the question that I have, as I go to that caucus, I know I'm going to get asked, it's not about the economy directly, but I got all the information from you when they told me I was going to be a speaker at the caucus. And they explained everything but one thing that my son wants to know, and I want his support too, you see? He's worried about global warming and - and your stance on that, and I said I'm pretty sure he's going to be with us and it hasn't been proven yet.

So can you -

GINGRICH: First of all, it hasn't been totally proven. Second, even if it were proven, there are a lot of different solutions other than cap and trade and - and turning over the entire economy to the - to the EPA.

You know, the - the Dutch face the problem of oceans. They decided to build dikes instead of lowering the sea. I mean, there are a lot of different ways you can solve things. So - but I think - I think global warming is not proven.

And one thing that one of the ads is the most dishonest that was written about me, I opposed cap and trade. I testified - you can see it on newt.org, I - we have the video. I testified at the U.S. House immediately after Al Gore, and I testified against cap and trade. And so any ad that says anything different is plain a lie, which is one of the problems we have. We haven't frankly figured out yet how to deal with the number of ads that were dishonest without ending up looking stupid ourselves.

So - so you can just say to your son I am opposed to cap and trade. He is safe. And I - I also am an amateur paleontologist, so I've - I spend a lot of time looking at the earth's temperature over a very long time, and I'm - I'm a lot harder to convince than just looking at a computer model.

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