Are Republicans Incapable of Processing Climate Change?

August 29, 2019

Republican brains are different no doubt.

From all the available evidence, we have to assume that older republicans are physiologically unable to process information about climate change, and we have to assume – from what they do and say, they either do not care, or have utter contempt for, the living systems and creatures of planet earth.
Younger Republicans seem to sense that something is wrong, but are kind of boxed in as to what to do about it with the leadership they have.

Republic – EN purports to be a climate and ecology aware group of mostly-young Rebublicans. Got a mailer from them the other day.

RepublicEN:

Recently, Utah Senator Mitt Romney has been increasingly outspoken about the need to address climate change. 
 
“Scientists are almost uniform in their concern that this is happening faster than they expected and that the impacts could be dramatic,” Romney said in a recent interview. “So that suggests we’ve got to do something. We can’t just hope it’s not going to happen… that’s not an answer, that’s not a solution. We’ve got to take action.”
 
That gets a big thumbs up from the EcoRight!

Regrettably, the last time Mitt Romney actually had some potential influence in the national debate, he sneered and ridiculed the entire idea -even though he does know better… (above)

Newsweek:

A recent surge in environmental concern among young Americans shows a growing number of Republicans who say they’re worried human behavior and man-made pollution are damaging planet Earth.
President Donald Trump declared himself an “environmentalist” to reporters at the G7 summit Monday, but he quickly said he could not afford to sacrifice jobs and the economy in order to fight climate change. A new survey of global attitudes toward the environment released this week shows 67 percent, two-thirds, of young Republican voters are worried about human damage to the environment. The Amsterdam-based Glocalities polling data reveals an 18 percent spike in 18 to 34-year-old GOP supporters who say they fear the effects of climate change.
The survey of 189,996 respondents from 20 countries between 2014 and 2019 found that a majority of U.S. Republican Party voters today, 58 percent, say they are concerned about human-caused damage to the planet.
The 2014 to 2019 rise in concerns about man-made pollution, greenhouse gases and their effect on the environment is most sizable among Republicans. The U.S. overall has seen an 8 percent increase from 61 to 69 percent over the past five years in people expressing climate change worries. The Glocalities survey also showed a 10 percentage increase among U.S. Republicans who reported trying “to live eco-consciously.”


About 17 percent of Republicans explicitly said they have no worries about the effects of climate change. That number is reduced to just 11 percent of young Republicans between the ages of 18 and 34 years old.
The release of the survey data comes as the Trump administration on Thursday proposed reversing restrictions on methane gas, the main component of natural gas, which scientists consider the second most significant contributor to climate change behind carbon dioxide. According to The New York Times, the Environmental Protection Agency plans to eliminate federal tech requirements to repair and monitor methane leaks at pipeline or other energy facilities.

The surge in Republican concern over the environment follows overall U.S. trends, which have seen steady increases in people who say protection of the environment should be given priority — even at the risk of curbing economic growth. Gallup data shows 65 percent of Americans agree the environment deserves priority over the economy, although the data does not account for jobs and economic growth possible through “green” energy.

Amber Phillips in the Washington Post:

Climate change is here. Short of getting rid of the filibuster in the Senate, it will take both parties to agree to start legislating seriously on climate change, and so far that hasn’t happened. So will there ever be a tipping point when Republicans will get on board?
There are early signs that, yes, there will be. But maybe not in the near future.
Politico recently reported that a number of GOP lawmakers want to do something about it after years of letting Democrats dominate the issues and conversation, while the New York Times reported Republican strategists are worried the party could lose voters if it doesn’t turn around on this issue quickly.
But it seems that is still a long way off, too far off for science, which has found that major areas in the country are nearing the critical threshold of warming by 2 degrees Celsius.

It will certainly never happen in a Trump administration, say some conservative climate activists. President Trump didn’t start the climate change denial movement, but he is its most prominent proponent. His stance that climate change is a “hoax” is in line with his base but incongruent with the majority of Americans, according to Pew Research Center, who think dealing with it should be a top priority for the president.
“It’s not an issue Trump seems to have much interest in or sees political advantages in approaching,” said Joseph Majkut, the director of climate policy for the right-leaning Niskanen Center think tank.
Republican lawmakers in this political moment are carefully contemplating whether and how to address climate change in a way that doesn’t “overwhelmingly disturb their political coalitions,” Majkut said. “That’s complex stuff to figure out,” he said. And Trump’s not providing them any leadership on how to navigate it.Climate change is here. Short of getting rid of the filibuster in the Senate, it will take both parties to agree to start legislating seriously on climate change, and so far that hasn’t happened. So will there ever be a tipping point when Republicans will get on board?
There are early signs that, yes, there will be. But maybe not in the near future.
Politico recently reported that a number of GOP lawmakers want to do something about it after years of letting Democrats dominate the issues and conversation, while the New York Times reported Republican strategists are worried the party could lose voters if it doesn’t turn around on this issue quickly.
But it seems that is still a long way off, too far off for science, which has found that major areas in the country are nearing the critical threshold of warming by 2 degrees Celsius.

But set aside Trump, and Republican lawmakers need to realize there is a political constituency to talk about climate change, say conservative climate activists.
When Benji Backer, the president of the 2017 youth-led conservative climate group American Conservation Coalition, talks to lawmakers, he stresses that climate deniers are a small, yet vocal, minority of the party. And he hands them polls that show it’s in the top two or three issues for young voters with a warning: “Young people are leaving the Republican Party in droves over this issue.”
Various public polling shows that climate change isn’t a top issue for the country as a whole; it often ranks below health care, immigration and the economy for voters.
But a February Pew Research survey finds evidence that Republicans of all ages are warming to prioritizing this. Over the past two years, Republicans who think stricter environmental laws are worth the potential economic cost jumped nearly 10 points, to 45 percent.

An April Pew survey found a majority of Americans, 56 percent, say dealing with climate change should be the top priority of Congress and the White House and that Republican millennial voters are twice as likely to say humans are causing the Earth’s accelerated warming as their older party members. (Though that high is just 36 percent.)
“Not enough conservative constituents are reaching out,” Backer said, “and not enough lawmakers are willing to extend their hand and say: ‘This is an issue I’m going to prioritize.’ ”
Environmental activists are skeptical that will happen.
“It seems there is this desire from the GOP to show that they are not keeping their heads in the sand on climate, that they are not a party that’s anti-environment,” said Liz Perera, the climate policy director at the environmental organization Sierra Club. But, she said “there’s really no there there.” Exhibit A is how Republicans in Congress have endorsed the Trump administration’s wholesale rollback of dozens of environmental regulations — they’ve even helped when they could legislatively.

15 Responses to “Are Republicans Incapable of Processing Climate Change?”

  1. indy222 Says:

    A Gallup poll earlier this year found that 70% of Americans were “concerned about climate change and believed it would affect their families”. That same number – 70% – also refused to pay even $10/month to do anything about it. And 40% of Americans wouldn’t pay even $1 per month. That’s whats missing from these Cheer-You-Up pieces in the media. We won’t do a damn thing if it interferes with our personal economic growth. As long as someone ELSE pays for it, we’re OK with that.
    Yeah. I have yet to find any cause for optimism about our future. It’ll take young people who have nothing to lose because they’ve already been stripped bare of anything TO lose, to start the revolution no matter how unmannerly it turns out to be.

    Shame on the “Me” Generation. Those in power today will bear a horrific reputation in the minds of whatever future generations there may be. We’re the ones who destroyed the planet for all future life. The costs will be far higher than people are being led to believe, and it’s because if you DID know (it’s right there in the peer-reviewed journal papers, after all), you’d perhaps be terrified enough to question the ruling political/economic paradigm, and that is absolutely unacceptable to DNC Democrats, Republicans, and virtually everyone else except for academics and I pray, the young people I’m trying to educate.

    • jimbills Says:

      Couldn’t agree more.

      I saw a decent article about the climate change talks at the G-7 recently. It’s from a conservative source of all places (National Review, written by a guy from the Manhattan Institute), but it’s largely free of the hyperventilating lunacy one sees as common practice from conservative sources. I think it’s a mostly accurate view of where we stand as a society facing a problem of this magnitude and type (despite the author’s free market and nat gas optimism):
      https://www.nationalreview.com/2019/08/g-7-meeting-climate-action-no-agreement/

    • Sir Charles Says:

      Do US Americans not learn at school that America is always right (Pledge of Allegiance etc.) no matter what their country does? Therefore I’m not wondered a bit about that attitude.

      • dumboldguy Says:

        Be careful, Chucky—-it’s way too early to be slipping into your anti-American Russian Troll mode—-the election is still a long way off.

        • Sir Charles Says:

          I didn’t ask assholes to reply to my comment.

          • dumboldguy Says:

            Good for you, and I hope no assholes do reply.

            I also hope that several more patriotic and intelligent Americans who understand what your game is will join me in calling you out. Let’s not get into the same situation we were in the last time you “overcooked” it.

            Remember? You “disappeared” from Crock for a while, then have been sneaking your nose back under the tent with very occasional “good” comments, all of which have been related to climate change and none to politics.

            Lately you have been returning to your old mode of (too) many postings to get people used to you again, and you have begun slipping in some unnecessary anti-American BS when people are “not looking” (i.e., hoping for a subconscious “hit”).

            I shouldn’t have to say again that we don’t need some alleged Irishman commenting on our country or government in a divisive and negative way—-we have a so-called president who does that very well. Your comment is one that sounds like it came straight from an anti-American Russian Troll Handbook. I.E.,

            “Sir Charles Says: Do US Americans not learn at school that America is always right (Pledge of Allegiance etc.) no matter what their country does? “.

            The sheepdogs are watching you, Chucky—-behave yourself! (WOOF!)

        • Sir Charles Says:

          BTW, it tells a lot about your understanding of US American democracy when you put the blame on “Russian trolls” that you folks elected a maniac as your president 🙄

          Keep on shooting in your own foot, dumbass.

    • J4Zonian Says:

      I’m betting almost all the people not willing to pay to fix the problem they accept the reality of are already feeling—and being—pressured by corporations and the oligarchy, and have watched helplessly as their lives have deteriorated for decades. They’ve lost ground financially, health-wise, socially, politically, and quality of life-wise. They work harder, have more stuff but less free time and less nature to enjoy; life is meaner; ecosystems are in retreat, although shifting baseline syndrome is hiding it.
      nytimes[DOT]com/2017/04/19/magazine/our-climate-future-is-actually-our-climate-present.html?_r=0) )

      IOW, everything really important to long life and happiness has been degraded and diminished, while trivialities that distract from that have become our focus and multiplied. In some way, at some depth, we and they all know it. They know that the rich are the main cause of the problem, although their misguided answer—trust in a manipulative party of the rich that plays on their fear of the Other, and in its rich mentally ill con man-child—is making everything worse. That party has for 60 years brainwashed them with what is not only an unending but an intensifying message of psychotic, psychopathic narcissism—individuality, domination, isolation, and disdain for compassion and any hint of connection—including even the connection of ecology and meaning, especially psychological meaning.

      And they’ve been systematically lie to, disinformed and confused about the seriousness of the crisis. So of course folks are unwilling to pay. While we disagree with them on a lot, and some of us are willing to sacrifice whatever is necessary, we mostly agree that people not only should but have to pay for the crisis to the extent that they’re responsible for it—that is, in proportion to their wealth.
      “Wealthier people produce more carbon pollution — even the “green” ones” vox[DOT]com/energy-and-environment/2017/12/1/16718844/green-consumers-climate-change

      Several books that help make sense of what’s happening:
      The Bonds of Love, Jessica Benjamin
      Love at Goon Park, Deborah Blum
      The Mass Psychology of Fascism, Wilhelm Reich (The Function of the Orgasm is a helpful prerequisite.)
      The End of America, Naomi Wolf

      ________________

      “Younger Republicans seem to sense that something is wrong, but are kind of boxed in as to what to do about it with the leadership they have.”

      Younger and progressive Democrats, too. Strictly electoral means will almost certainly take too long and are likely to be overtaken by Climate Ragnarok and ratcheting down control by the right wing. The leadership of both halves of the corporate duopoly have to be overthrown through mass peaceful direct action that starts in earnest in a few weeks. At this point, the institutions of democracy are so shredded by 40 years of constant and increasing defeats in every area that it’s not beyond imagining to think we’ll wake up one morning to find the US ruled by a single party dictatorship, and all the collaboration and appeasement by the corporate Democrats will end with some variation on the Night of the Long Knives.

      • J4Zonian Says:

        ‘Even Worse Than the DCCC Blacklist’: [Democratic Senate Minority Leader Chuck] Schumer Accused of Effort to Hamstring Progressives Trying to Unseat GOP Senators

        “Schumer is blackballing progressives in open primaries for GOP-held seats.”

        commondreams[DOT]org/news/2019/08/29/even-worse-dccc-blacklist-schumer-accused-effort-hamstring-progressives-trying?cd-origin=rss&utm_term=AO&utm_campaign=Daily%20Newsletter&utm_content=email&utm_source=Daily%20Newsletter&utm_medium=email

  2. rhymeswithgoalie Says:

    But it seems that is still a long way off, too far off for science, which has found that major areas in the country are nearing the critical threshold of warming by 2 degrees Celsius.

    That should read: too far off for physical reality

    To too many people, the word “science” stands for some abstract school subject.

    Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to monitor Dorian on the wunderground Cat6 blog.

  3. grindupbaker Says:

    “major areas in the country are nearing the critical threshold of warming by 2 degrees Celsius”. I had thought that the +2 degrees as used in the WG2 assessments was for Global Mean Surface Temperature (GMST). I still do think that. I haven’t been disabused of that one yet.

  4. dumboldguy Says:

    Republicans ARE incapable. Even though to some extent they can’t help it, they make little effort to overcome the inbred deficits outlined in BRAIN. It’s time to again remind all Crockers of that great book that does much to explain how and why Repugnants behave the way they do.

    THE REPUBLICAN BRAIN: The Science of Why They Deny Science—and Reality
    by Chris Mooney, Wiley, 2012 This book is jaw-dropping in its revelations.

    BRAIN follows on the heels of Mooney’s earlier THE REPUBLICAN WAR ON SCIENCE, Basic Books, 2005 (A NYT best-seller)

    This has been going on since Reagan’s time—-Reagan, Bush 1 and 2, and Trump are all “incapable”—-even though they all (except the Orange Dumpster Fire) DID pay some lip service to dealing with climate change.

    (And how does one become a “young Republican” anyway?—-seems like kind of an oxymoron. Poor toilet training? Abuse as a child by a priest, scout leader, or local Republican politician?)

  5. MorinMoss Says:

    Too many of them still haven’t properly processed Xtianity


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