By Andrew Restuccia - 12/29/11 04:49 PM EST
Fifty New Hampshire scientists Thursday called on the Republican presidential candidates to accept the “overwhelming” scientific evidence behind climate change.
The scientists issued the joint statement just weeks before the Jan. 10 New Hampshire primary, a key early test for the GOP White House hopefuls.
“Ignoring the issue of climate change places our health, our quality of life, our economic vitality, and our children’s future at risk.”
The GOP presidential candidates have raised questions about climate science, a politically thorny issue in Republican circles.
“My view is that we don’t know what’s causing climate change on this planet,” Mitt Romney said during an October speech.
Romney has said he believes that climate change is occurring and that human beings contribute to it. But he has said he doesn’t know how much global warming can be attributed to human activity.
Other Republican presidential candidates have been more direct in questioning climate science. Rick Perry, for instance, called global warming “one contrived phony mess” in his book Fed Up!
Scientists at seven New Hampshire institutions, including the University of New Hampshire and Dartmouth College, signed Thursday’s joint statement. It was sent to the offices of all the presidential candidates as well as New Hampshire Gov. John Lynch (D).
The statement comes about a month after Iowa scientists issued a similar call for the Republican candidates to accept climate science.
The vast majority of the world’s scientists say climate change is occurring in large part due to such human activity as the burning of fossil fuels.