Republican Message on Climate: “Let’s Let People Think we have a Message on Climate”

February 3, 2020

Daily Kos:

“One of the grim realities of climate politics today is that the elites bankrolling climate-denier politicians have made a simple calculation,” Karpf explains. “They aren’t betting that the scientific consensus is wrong. They are betting that the impacts of climate change won’t fall directly on them. They’ll either die before the [collapse] begins or their wealth will help shield them from its impacts.”

Fortunately, there are no more climate-denier politicians, right? Republicans are now, according to some credulous reporting, all on board with climate change and preparing to roll out solutions, right?

Perhaps not, according to…other Republicans. Forgive our harping on this topic again, but yesterday the Washington Examiner’s Josh Seigel ran a story about how “Republicans have convinced their most conservative members to support a forthcoming plan for the federal government to address climate change.”

They’ve done so, Seigl reports, by crafting a plan that doesn’t actually address climate change by reducing fossil fuel use, but merely sounds like it would while in fact promoting fossil fuels. And it’s not us saying that, it’s them. As Dan Crenshaw (R-TX) said, “you can call it political calculus or representing the people you represent,” but whatever you call it, “we do need a message for them” – referring to those who are concerned about climate change.

Note that he did not say we need a plan, or policy, or actual course of action for them. No, they only need a message.

Similarly, Garret Graves (R-LA) said that what they are “asking members to do is to double down… so it’s not like we’ve gone out there to the Freedom Caucus to say, ‘We are asking you to take a hard left turn.’” Straight from the source, it’s not actually a change at all, but a doubling down on the GOP’s pro-fossil-fuel stance.

After all, Graves said, “Fossil fuels aren’t the enemy. It’s emissions.” That’s like arguing the Civil War was about states rights, as opposed to slavery. (And if you think natural gas should be used as a bridge to clean energy, bear in mind what MIT’s Jessika Trancik recently told InsideClimateNews about her study on the coal-to-gas switch: “we’re kind of nearing the end of the bridge.”)  

That said, there are two House Republicans who support an actual conservative-friendly policy to reduce emissions, a carbon tax. One is Florida Rep. Francis Rooney, who was apparently not involved with this effort, or indeed even consulted by the supposedly pro-climate conservatives. And he knew why: “They are not ready to talk about the things I am ready to talk about.” (i.e. reducing fossil fuel use.)

But perhaps we’re being too cynical, and Republicans might really have a shot at making climate progress under the Trump administration. Speaking of whom, what’s the administration’s take on all this, anyway?

Per a Trump administration official, these “are messaging bills and all about the next election, and that’s great. But the president has been pretty clear that he cares about affordable energy, energy independence, and clean air and clean water. He is not particularly obsessed about climate change.” Ah, so Team Trump makes it clear that these are an empty attempt to convince voters that Republicans care about climate change without actually doing anything about it.

12 Responses to “Republican Message on Climate: “Let’s Let People Think we have a Message on Climate””

  1. mboli Says:

    My God, what a (male)(donkey)! Crenshaw has the nerve to yip-yap about how exporting natural gas will be America leading the energy innovation of the future.
    At the same time that China has taken the lead in developing and deploying renewable energy.
    I’m not giving the Chinese government a pass, they are still building new coal-fired generating stations throughout the third world.
    But they clearly understand where the innovations of the future will come from. And it ain’t buried in the Permian Basin.

  2. mboli Says:

    Rep. Frances Rooney is the Republican co-chair of the Climate Solutions Caucus in the House. So of course he was left out of a Republican discussion of climate policy and messaging. What would 𝘩𝘦 know.
    His predecessor in that spot, Carlos Curbelo, introduced some meaningful legislation a couple of years ago. Of his fellow Caucus Republicans who ostensibly care about the climate, most stabbed him in the back.
    Rooney is not running for re-election:
    Rep. Bob Inglis of South Carolina was killed off in a primary fight exactly because he started to address climate change as a serious issue.
    (Curbelo represented the Florida Keys, it seems natural that he would be concerned about climate change. He was defeated by a Democrat in 2018.)

    • J4Zonian Says:

      You mean the House Climate Solutions Prevention Caucus, that group that only lets people in in bipartisan pairs, but since Republicans who mention climate in any way other than to ridicule the idea get diselected, over time becomes populated more and more by Democrats anyway?

      The purpose of the Caucus is to give cover to politicians who have absolutely no interest in doing anything to solve the climate crisis but want to be able to selectively say they do. Of course fossil fuel corporations are not fooled. They pay attention and have access to politicians, so they can be reassured that the officials will hold firm to militant do-nothingism no matter what they say to the public. Meanwhile the pSychologically Induced Stupidity Syndrome (SISS)-stunted US voters agree to be fooled by HCSPC’s crocodile for dollars tears.

    • grindupbaker Says:

      Or 413,000 gigawatts for the last 22 years is what it is. Either way

    • rhymeswithgoalie Says:

      Hey, buddy, we don’t even know the difference between temperature and heat! Besides, you didn’t even compare it to the width of a human hair or the volume of an Olympic swimming pool!

      • dumboldguy Says:

        Sir Clucky is trying to sneak his nose back under the tent with some “good info” after his last embarrassing display of Russian Trollness. Has everyone noticed his absence? Get ready for the same-old, same-old:
        1) Posting inanities and lots of “good stuff” to show us what a good guy he is
        2) Sneaking in his anti-American comments when he thinks we’ve been “lulled”
        3) Getting his ass kicked by those of us who understand his game
        4) Disappearing dor a while—-go back to 1) and repeat

  3. rhymeswithgoalie Says:

    They aren’t betting that the scientific consensus is wrong. They are betting that the impacts of climate change won’t fall directly on them.

    In business too often you’re expected to think positive:

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