Watch a GOP 2016 hopeful actually get real about climate change

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We have a breakthrough.

Today in New Hampshire, Jeb Bush, who everyone is pretty sure is running for president, acknowledged that climate change is real, man-made, and must be addressed.

"The climate is changing, and I'm concerned about that," he said.

He goes on to say that he is more concerned about the "hollowing out" of the U.S. economy, and that the American shale "revolution" will help.


He continues: "And then, simultaneously with [the 'revolution'], be cognizant of this climate change issue." To do address it, Bush said, the U.S. should "negotiate with the rest of the world to reduce carbon emissions."

The first part of that paragraph seems jumbled. But it arguably reflects the mind of someone who's realized the real difficulty of tackling climate change (as opposed to the difficulty of deciding whether it's happening and who's causing it). While everyone needs a healthy economy, it can't come at the expense of environmental catastrophe.


Yet this is the situation the world finds itself in. And Bush seems like the first GOP candidate who's realized and acknowledged it.

What makes it even more remarkable, of course, is that Bush is from Florida, where discussion of climate change is discouraged in the governor's office.

NextGen climate, the environmental group founded by billionaire Tom Steyer, praised Bush's remarks.

"Jeb Bush demonstrated leadership today on the issue of climate change—distancing himself from the other Republican presidential hopefuls and demonstrating why climate change doesn’t have to be a partisan issue," the group said in a release.


"This is a critical step forward for the Republican candidate, but it can only be the beginning if America hopes to truly lead the world in combating climate change once and for all."

Rob covers business, economics and the environment for Fusion. He previously worked at Business Insider. He grew up in Chicago.