Newt Gingrich is a very smart, very intellectual kind of guy. Not only does he hold a Ph.D., but he professes to love science. In May 2002, after leaving Congress, he could be found calling for a tripling of the budget of the National Science Foundation.
Just look at this 2008 Slate exchange, discussing Gingrich’s plans to use market mechanisms to address global warming:
Kensington, Md.: Kudos to you for this new initiative, and we all need for you to be successful (speaking as a liberal here). But why do you suppose conservatives have been so virulently hostile to science these past few decades? It’s really like watching the 16th century papacy coming to terms with astronomy.
Newt Gingrich: Since I headed the Republican House which doubled the size of the NIH budget, served on the Hart-Rudman Comission, which said the decline of math and science education was our second greatest threat as a country, and helped save the international space station when short-sighted people wanted to kill it, I’m not sure I identify with your question.
I identify with it. While Gingrich and his revolutionaries were running the congressional show in the 1990s, they dismantled their own scientific advisory office, the Office of Technology Assessment. Then they held show hearings to cast doubt on the science of climate and the science of ozone depletion.
They loved science–except when they didn’t.
Now Gingrich is back again, as a possible GOP presidential candidate. And he is calling for nothing less than dismantling the Environmental Protection Agency.