Republicans Increasingly Defensive on Climate
May 9, 2014
Above, GOP Senator Marco Rubio complains that President Obama is ‘not a meteorologist”, so shouldn’t, apparently, listen to people that are. He states he “understands there is a vast consensus” on the science of climate change.
He then shifts, and resorts to fogging the issue with straw men, successfully running out the clock on the interview.
This behavior, and other observations, indicate the increasing discomfort in the GOP that facts are catching up with them, and time is running out on the united front of denial.
Not all that long ago, leading Republicans took strong positions on climate change. Sen. John McCain of Arizona, the party’s 2008 presidential nominee, co-authored legislation to cap greenhouse gas emissions. And former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee presented the fight against global warming as a religious cause.
These days, it’s difficult to find a Republican candidate willing to speak out in favor of doing something. Anyone who does so risks defeat in GOP primaries, where ardent climate change skeptics hold sway.
This is a problem for the country, indeed the world.
The National Climate Assessment, released this week, adds to a mounting and overwhelming body of evidence that the effects of rising temperatures are here and now — and that even higher sea levels, more extreme weather and water shortages are in our future if nothing is done.
Addressing the threat won’t be easy, or popular. But denying that a problem even exists — which is common among the most vocal of Republicans — risks branding the party as one that is anti-science and refuses to participate in constructive governance.
Given the increasing scientific certainty about global warming, and the likelihood that public opinion will shift in the face of ever more compelling evidence, Republicans should be thinking of ways of getting out in front of the issue.
Otherwise, like climate change itself, it will overtake them before they can react.
Below, on CNN, ‘conservative” S.E. Cupp complains that “Science Guy” Bill Nye is ‘bullying” her with the facts.(hard to watch, go to 5:20 for the takeaway)
Facts are stubborn things. That climate deniers are more and more changing tactics, less to deny the science, and more to tap dance around and delay actual solutions, shows that they feel the ground shifting beneath them, but don’t know how to respond.
Fact based citizens should continue to firmly, politely, and repeatedly point people to the best resources on climate, that every poll shows people still trust above all, our mainstream scientific organizations – NASA, NOAA, National Snow and Ice Data Center, National Academy of Science, and the peer reviewed literature.
The clip below is an extended piece from the current Showtime series, Years of Living Dangerously – I’ve posted part of this before – where (recently indicted) GOP congressman Michael Grimm is, at least here, honest about the the increasingly unsupportable GOP intransigence on climate. What’s new here is the prelude, a conversation between Grimm and former Rep. Bob Inglis, a conservative who gets climate, and understands, as USAToday noted above, that its well past time for conservatives to begin proposing solutions.