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Former Bush Official: GOP Ready For A Serious Climate Change Discussion

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HANK PAULSON
Former Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais) | ASSOCIATED PRESS
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Former U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry “Hank” Paulson believes he is one of many Republicans ready to acknowledge the serious threats posed by climate change.

In an interview featured on CNN’s Fareed Zakaria GPS Sunday, the former George W. Bush official explained his stance.

“I think there are a lot of fellow Republicans, my fellow Republicans, business leaders and political leaders, that are ready for a serious discussion about the science and the risks that come out of the science,” he said. “And I think the resistance to doing some of the things we need to do is much broader than just the Republican Party.”

Paulson said his party’s resistance to a carbon tax now will only result in a need for more government interference later on.

“What I've said about a carbon tax is some people that oppose it are opposing it because they don't like the government playing a big role,” he said. “And, you know, the perverse aspect of that is, frankly, those that are resisting taking action now are guaranteeing that the government will be playing a bigger role, because we're seeing now and we're going to see an increasing number of natural disasters, Mother Nature acts.”

Earlier this month, Paulson teamed up with former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and hedge fund manager turned climate activist Tom Steyer to release a report on the serious implications global warming carries for businesses.

"We just cannot afford to wait another minute," Bloomberg said of the report. "Climate change is costing governments and businesses billions of dollars."

The former treasury secretary also published an op-ed for the New York Times earlier this month laying out his concerns, prompting Rush Limbaugh to dismiss his warnings as "absurd" given the cold winter.

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