How is this going to work? Republicans on Climate Disruption
I was unsurprised with the Republican presidential candidates’ positions on the climate crisis. It includes gems like:
Jeb Bush: “I don’t think the science is clear on what percentage is man-made and…what percentage is natural. It’s convoluted. And for the people to say the science is decided on this is just really arrogant.” He believes the U.S. needs to adapt, and he wants countries that have increased carbon emissions to cut back. But, he said, “We’re not one of them,” thanks to the increase in U.S. natural gas production from fracking.
Donald Trump: Trump tweets “Ice storm rolls from Texas to Tennessee – I’m in Los Angeles and it’s freezing. Global warming is a total, and very expensive, hoax!” and “The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.”
Carly Foirani: While admitting humans are causing climate disruption, Foirani says the US does not need to do anything about it, because other countries are not. “[E]very one of the scientists that tell us that climate change is real and being caused by man-made activity also tells us that a single nation acting alone can make no difference at all,”
Ben Carson: (who in most polls is number 2 behind Trump) simply denies it. “I’ll tell you what I think about climate change. The temperature’s either going up or down at any point in time, so it really is not a big deal.”
Marco Rubio: “Our climate is always changing. And what they have chosen to do is take a handful of decades of research and say that this is now evidence of a longer-term trend that’s directly and almost solely attributable to man made activity. I do not agree with that.”
What did surprise me is the latest survey numbers which indicate that more US Americans believe in Climate Disruption than ever before. 70% of those surveyed said they believe in global warming. This is up 10% from a year ago. More important, perhaps, is that the number of people who agree with the Republican presidential candidates is down to 16%.
Which begs the question: who do these Republicans think they are appealing to with their unpopular (and inaccurate) notions on the urgency of climate action? One is tempted to say “their paymasters,” the Koch brothers and others who are economically disadvantaged by any efforts to curtail carbon emissions and who are funding their campaigns.
But this is a bit too simplistic. Even in these days of exceedingly bribed politicians, they do not simply parrot the ideology of their benefactors. This is partly because these agendas really only serve a tiny fraction of the population and these candidates need to win a mostly popular vote.
But something deeper is happening here. These candidates, who are paying advisers millions to inform them as to what is electable, apparently think most people would rather be lied to about this problem, and not spend money on it (or change things). In this multi-billion dollar bet of a presidential election, this seems something of a poor wager to me.