Climate scientist spurned by Gingrich laments ‘politicization’

A week after GOP White House hopeful Newt Gingrich said he nixed plans for a chapter on climate change in his new book, the author of the chapter is lamenting the “politicization and polarization” of the issue.

“I really, really deplore the politicization and polarization of this issue,” Katharine Hayhoe, a well-known climate scientist who had been tasked with writing a chapter on climate change for Gingrich’s new book on the environment, told The Guardian, a British newspaper. “There are these increasingly unprincipled attempts to polarize the science when the science is fact — like the sky is blue, the grass is green and the temperature of our planet is increasing.”

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Hayhoe has been dragged into the center of the latest controversy over the Republican presidential candidates and climate change. Gingrich told a crowd in Iowa late last month that he had dropped the climate-change chapter from his book amid criticism from conservative radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh.

Hayhoe said she was never told by Gingrich about his plans to cancel the chapter.

“The next thing I know, a reporter was calling me asking: What do you think about the fact that your chapter is no longer in the book?” Hayhoe told The Guardian.

Climate change has become a political liability for some of the Republican presidential candidates, and especially for Gingrich, who has come under fire from conservatives for calling for action to address climate change in a 2008 advertisement with then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).

Gingrich has since called the ad “probably the dumbest single thing I’ve done in recent years.”

Hayhoe, an evangelical Christian, expressed frustration that Republicans were facing increasing pressure to deny or question climate science.

“I think it’s really sad how people are being pressured,” she told The Guardian.