The Hole: How Conservatives Came Together to Save the Planet

October 11, 2016

I got a question the other night about the Ozone hole. Important to note, the Ozone problem is not one and the same as the global warming issue (there’s a lot of confusion out there), a not-frequently-enough-remembered story about how that problem was solved has lessons for today.

Conservative heroes Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan were savvy enough to see that the problem was real and demanded global action. That action is now bearing fruit, and the ozone layer is healing, saving much of life on earth.

Mrs. Thatcher of course, a chemist by training, also recognized early on the threat from climate change, and said so. My video from a few years ago documents. By all means, share with your ditto head uncle.

But that was in the old days, when conservatives believed in conserving.

The Donald Trump campaign recently announced that the leader of it’s EPA “Transition Team”, would be one of the most odious, oil soaked climate deniers on the planet.


(Myron)Ebell, the director of the Center for Energy and Environment at the Competitive Enterprise Institute and a prominent climate-change skeptic, was chosen at the end of September to head the Environmental Protection Agency’s transition team if Donald Trump is elected president. That does not necessarily mean he would have a role in a Trump EPA, but at the very least, he would be able to populate the EPA with officials who share his views and those of Trump, who hasn’t made the environment an issue in his campaign but does offer goals and proposals on his campaign website. His plans are listed under a tab that says “Energy.” There is no “Environment” tab. And his proposals have far more to do with boosting energy production than with conservation. It says nothing about greenhouse gas emissions.

Ebell’s harsh rebuke of the pope—especially this pope, revered as a champion of the poor—and his other writings offer a glimpse of what a Trump EPA might look like—both in substance and in style. It would be vastly different from what the agency has looked like under President Barack Obama and sharply at odds with the scientific consensus.

The appointment of Ebell to head the transition team came as Trump was fumbling to deny a 2012 tweet in which he wrote, “The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.” In the first presidential debate on September 26, Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton accused him of saying climate change was a hoax perpetrated by the Chinese. “I did not. I did not. I do not say that,” he replied, later calling the tweet a “joke.”

Ebell is sometimes described as climate denier-in-chief, and he revels in it, crowing in his biography that he’s been called one of the leading “misleaders” on climate change and “villain of the month” by one environmental group. David Goldston, a policy analyst at the Natural Resources Defense Council Action Fund, says Ebell “doesn’t believe in climate change and wants to reverse the advances we’ve had in environmental protection and decimate—if not utterly destroy—the Environmental Protection Agency.” The Competitive Enterprise Institute, Ebell’s employer, “has done everything it can politically and through litigation to block any forward movement on climate and to try to harass anybody who is trying to get forward movement,” Goldston says.

4 Responses to “The Hole: How Conservatives Came Together to Save the Planet”

  1. redskylite Says:

    Old days indeed and at least Maggie was a bona fide scientists who understood the risks. Didn’t appreciate her politics very much at the time, but seems I own her a posthumous apology. Post Thatcher new labour did not fair too well (under Blair), and politics seems to be in a mess now in the U.K.

    So what is wrong with modern day conservatives ? Why have they rejected expertise and logic for ideology. ? Is it something in the water.? How can Trump be showing 40 something percent in the polls. ?

    Less than 1 in 10 conservative Republicans trusts climate scientists

    Recent polls show just how radical the partisan divide has become.

    “Instead, the issue has become so politicized that people on one end of the political spectrum don’t even believe the scientific evidence, instead suspecting climate scientists of acting on a variety of forms of self-interest—including some that have no rational basis. It’s hard to see how to get from there to a state where scientific evidence regains a position of trust.”

    • I often wonder if the huge amount of “it’s scientifically proven” garbage that is used in the advertising of domestic products might be eroding some people’s trust in real science.

      It’s easy to see why for some it becomes a “belief” system or ideology.

  2. schwadevivre Says:

    Old, old, old joke.

    Why did Reagan and Thatcher get on?

    He was in thin films and she researched them.

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