Kasich acknowledges the existence of climate change, but questions the extent of human contribution to the phenomenon, and worries that addressing it would be harmful to jobs. On the effect of climate change on the environment, he admits that he “doesn't know enough about it”.
JOHN KASICH: “There are natural cycles of science. Do I believe there is something called climate change? I do. Do I think that human beings affect it? I do. How much? Not enough for me to go out and cost somebody their job.
I don't know that that's why you have flooding. I don't know that that – I just don't know enough about it.”
Kasich believes that the environment was given to humanity by God, and that as such it is important to care for it. He cautions, however, that people “shouldn't worship it”.
LAUREN WINDSOR: “Governor Kasich, do you agree with the Pope that climate change is a moral issue that we must address and take concrete action?”
JOHN KASICH: “Well, you know, I just finished reading a big chapter by Francis Schaffer, who is a leading theologian. He's now gone. And I read a great book on Francis Assisi, who kind of modeled himself, the Pope models himself after.
The environment was given to us by the Lord and it needs to be taken care of. And it shouldn't be worshiped – that's called 'pantheism'. So I think the Pope pointing out the fact that we need to take care of this environment is good. I don't agree with his conclusion that all of it is bad because of free enterprise, because it's lifted people out of poverty, and he cares about the poor and so do I. But, I mean, a nice warning to people to think about the environment.
In my state, we've reduced emissions by 30% over the last 10 years. We want to develop renewables. So, I have no problem, I mean no problem, if the Pope wants to talk about creation and how we need to be conscious of it, good for him.”
WINDSOR: “So would you take legislative action?”
KASICH: “Let's not get carried away. What I just said is kind of what my sense is, and I've pointed to you what we've done in Ohio. We're trying to clean our great lake Eerie, we're sensitive about environmental issues. But I don't know what his legislative recommendations are, but I don't think that's what he was trying to say. I think what he was trying to say is, 'we ought to care about the environment,' and I agree with him.”