Seems that talking about the weather seemed important to Fiorina back then. The "great challenges" quote wasn't the only time she talked about about the seriousness of climate change before she was trying to garner the conservative vote in a Republican Senate primary (a vote she's trying to court with a little help from her new friend and notoriously uninterested-in-weather-talk McCain pal Sarah Palin).
A Boxer supporter pointed out this video of Fiorina not only talking about the weather in 2008, but praising a cap-and-trade plan to deal with it very similar to the one Boxer has been unsuccessfully trying to push through the Senate for months.
In an interview with ABC's George Stephanopoulos in May 2008, Fiorina was asked point-blank about Republican concerns that cap and trade amounts to little more than a tax increase. She showed a truly Boxer-like eagerness for weather talk at the time.
"It's not perfect," she said of the cap-and-trade plan McCain supported. "But what it does do is encourage people to find alternatives. And that's the most important thing here. I think we can't simply say, 'we need to reduce greenhouse emissions.' We have to also say, 'encourage people to go after these new technologies.'"
On Fiorina's campaign website today, it's a different matter. She calls Boxer's cap-and-trade law "disastrous" and says it will "lead to more job losses for American families and more onerous regulation on our nation's businesses."
She's picked up the messaging from some of the people who have opposed cap-and-trade right along -- even back when McCain that supported it.
"A recent Heritage Foundation report finds that cap-and-trade would cost American families $2,872 every year!" Fiorina's website reads.
She offers her own non-cap-and-trade solution to cleaning up the environment and reducing America's dependence on foreign oil on the website, but as oil spews in the Gulf of Mexico, it's not one you're likely to see in a TV ad anytime soon.
"We need a national energy policy that promotes the development of all domestic forms of energy, including nuclear, solar, wind and clean coal, and the exploration and drilling for oil and natural gas," Fiorina says on her site. "We have close to a 100-year supply of natural gas and, thanks to improved technologies, it is a safe, cheap and available supply of energy."
Here's the full video of Fiorina talking about energy policy with Stephanopoulos back in 2008 (relevant stuff starts around the 2 min mark):
Late Update: Reached after this story as published, the Fiorina campaign told me that Fiorina's past statements in support of cap-and-trade were made as a surrogate to McCain and claimed that McCain's cap-and-trade proposal was "substantially different" from Boxer's. A campaign spokesperson offered this response:
"We can all agree that terrorists pose a serious security threat to our nation. However, there is wide disagreement within the security community, and the American people, about the role climate change plays in global security. Despite this, Barbara Boxer has chosen to fight for cap and trade legislation under the auspices that somehow raising energy prices and costing America jobs will make us safer, while at the the same time she has voted against providing adequate funding to the men and women in uniform actually fighting terrorism in Afghanistan and Iraq."