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Gingrich Axes Chapter on Climate Change in Forthcoming Book

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By Doug Powers  •  December 31, 2011 11:47 AM

**Written by Doug Powers

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About three weeks ago, the LA Times reported that Newt Gingrich was involved in a book project revolving around environmental/economic issues, including a chapter addressing man-made global warming:

At a time when the Republican presidential candidates are swiftly backing away from past moderate environmental positions, Newt Gingrich may be the only one with a book pending on the topic.

Gingrich and Terry L. Maple have something of a sequel in the works to their 2007 book, “A Contract with The Earth,” tentatively titled “Environmental Entrepreneurs.”

The duo’s first book called on policymakers and businesspeople on the right to show they had better ideas for protecting the environment and creating jobs than government did. The new book is a collection of essays by various businesspeople and scientists to be edited and stitched together by Gingrich and, mostly, Maple, a former chief executive of the Palm Beach Zoo.

The author of a chapter on climate change is Katharine Hayhoe, an atmospheric scientist at Texas Tech whose work focuses on assessing the impact of climate change and communicating it to broader audiences, including those traditionally dubious of global warming, like Christian colleges.

In Iowa on Thursday, Gingrich was asked about it, and, sounding like a man pledging never to be caught on the couch with Nancy again, Newt said this about the climate change chapter: “That’s not going to be in the book. We didn’t know that they were doing that, and we told them to kill it.”

This came as a surprise to author of the apparently scrapped chapter:

Newt Gingrich says he has killed a chapter on climate change in a post-election book of essays about the environment. But the intended author of the chapter, who supports the scientific consensus that humans contribute to climate change, says that’s news to her.

Katharine Hayhoe, an atmospheric scientist at Texas Tech, confirmed in an e-mail interview that she had been asked to write a chapter on climate change for the former House speaker’s book. She said she was approached by former Palm Beach Zoo CEO Terry Maple, Gingrich’s coeditor, at an annual meeting of Republicans for Environmental Protection. Asked to confirm her chapter was dropped, she replied, “I had not heard that.”

Hayhoe was less restrained in a couple of tweets she posted Friday night. “so much ‘spare’ time wasted I cd’ve spent w family, & 2. what an ungracious way to find out, eh?” she asked. She followed that with “Nice to hear that Gingrich is tossing my #climate chapter in the trash. 100+ unpaid hrs I cd’ve spent playing w my baby”

If things don’t work out for Gingrich in this primary season the chapter may stage a miraculous comeback and wind up in the book after all. Newt might not be on the global warming loveseat at the moment but there’s some change under the cushions he may someday go back for.

On a related but separate note, at 7 p.m. EST the Des Moines Register will publish the results of their final poll before Tuesday night’s caucuses.

**Written by Doug Powers

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