Sunday, August 3, 2014

The Republican Brain Trust On Climate Change

A US Senator proposed a resolution which simply stated that climate change was real.  A Republican Senator from Oklahoma blocked the resolution.  He defended his dissent by arguing that the global temperature has not increased over the last 15 years, and he reported that 9,000 scientists had signed a petition which stated that climate change was not real.  A colleague sharply rebutted his claims.  A normal person would have been embarrassed by the rebuttal but the senator from Oklahoma "was not for changing".

Some US Senators have gone beyond the senator from Oklahoma who clings to the weak climate change denial strategy.  Paul Ryan, and Marco Rubio are much smarter than the senator from Oklahoma.  They do not deny the reality of climate change; they take the position that the US government does not have the power to prevent climate change.  That argument takes two forms: Since climate change is a global problem, the US government can't reverse the process.  The other claim is that natural forces are responsible for climate change.  Furthermore, Ryan argues that government efforts to prevent climate change are an excuse to increase the role of government in the economy and to increase taxes.

There are several Republicans in the Senate who do not agree with their esteemed colleagues on the reality of climate change or on the inability of government to do anything about climate change.  They remain silent on this issue because climate change denial, and opposition to any proposals from the Obama Administration, are central issues in the GOP campaign platform.  Winning elections is more important than fighting climate change.

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