Indeed, it is difficult to identify another major political party in any democracy as thoroughly dismissive of climate science as is the GOP here. Eileen Claussen, president of the Pew Center on Global Climate Change, says that although other parties may contain pockets of climate skepticism, there is “no party-wide view like this anywhere in the world that I am aware of.”
It will be difficult for the world to move meaningfully against climate disruption if the United States does not. And it will be almost impossible for the U.S. to act if one party not only rejects the most common solution proposed for the problem (cap-and-trade) but repudiates even the idea that there is a problem to be solved. The GOP’s stiffening rejection of climate science sets the stage for much heated argument but little action as the world inexorably warms — and the dangers that Hague identified creep closer.
That’s from an excellent National Journal piece, “GOP Gives Climate Science A Cold Shoulder.” It’s rare for a straight political commentator like Ron Brownstein to write a piece that isn’t just political theater but actually gets the importance of being wrong on this most important of issues.
Hague is the UK’s conservative Foreign Secretary William Hague, who said in a must-read speech last week, “You cannot have food, water, or energy security without climate security.” The point is, only U.S. conservatives are this uniquely self-destructive, embracing a position that will destroy food security, water security, and energy security for the nation and the world.
Think Progress has a couple of recent instances of this, with videos, starting with the most famous one-time witchcraft dabbler on the planet:
CNN’s Jim Acosta had the opportunity to interview GOP Senate candidate Christine O’Donnell yesterday, weeks after the tea party favorite swore off national media appearances. O’Donnell gave Acosta the GOP line on tax cuts, health care, and national security, and joined the rest of the Republican Party’s candidates for U.S. Senate who question the science that global warming is manmade:
ACOSTA: Global warming, is it manmade? Does human activity contribute to global warming?
O’DONNELL: I don’t have an opinion on that. I would have to look at a specific piece of legislation when it comes to cap and trade, the bill that has been pout there supposedly out there to combat climate change. I’m opposed to cap and trade because of the economic consequences. What it will do to the individual household, skyrocketing our utility bills beyond what we can afford, and it doesn’t address the real issue it was intended to address.
The Wonk Room’s Brad Johnson notes, “In May, 2010, the National Academies of Science reported to Congress that ‘the U.S. should act now to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and develop a national strategy to adapt to the inevitable impacts of climate change’ because global warming is ‘caused largely by human activities, and poses significant risks for “” and in many cases is already affecting “” a broad range of human and natural systems.’”
Like Christine O’Donnell and other know-nothing Tea Party candidates, Chris Dudley “” the Republican nominee for Oregon’s governor “” doesn’t know and doesn’t care if global warming is caused by fossil fuel pollution. Toeing the party line, Dudley opposes the Western Climate Initiative global warming agreement as a “cap-tax-trade” system that would “do damage to the economy and job creation.” He even bashed a weatherization initiative as a boondoggle. “Climate change is probably caused by a variety of factors,” Dudley said in a September interview with the Oregonian, “but that debate is beside the point.” In a gubernatorial debate on September 30, Dudley finally admitted he doesn’t know if pollution is causing global warming:
My thought on global warming is this: that global warming exists, man contributes to it, how much, I don’t know. I don’t know how much is man made and how much is natural.
In contrast, Democratic candidate John Kitzhaber is clear: “I do believe climate change is human-caused, and it poses an enormous threat to our country and to our nation.” While Dudley has been silent, Kitzhaber has issued a strategic roadmap for green economic empowerment in Oregon.