It's not so much that his new views are outside the mainstream as that they are so patently disingenuous. The thing is that as governor Mr Pawlenty was apparently concerned about the environment. He signed legislation that set renewable energy standards for Minnesota, and increased energy efficiency goals. He incurred some political risk for his views on the need to reduce carbon emissions; pundits thought it was a liability in his quest for the 2008 vice-presidential nomination. Are we to believe that Mr Pawlenty, having been interested in these issues for at least the better part of a decade, only recently realised that there are costs to cap-and-trade legislation?