On Climate Change, Republicans Stand Alone

| 10/28/2010 11:59:16 AM

Five-day forecast 

One of the parties on the ballot on Election Day holds a position that virtually no party in the world’s liberal democracies shares. The Republican Party’s steadfast rejection of climate science makes it a global outlier, an unparalleled bastion of denial, ignorance, and obfuscation on one of the most important issues of the day. 

That’s why Ronald Brownstein, conservative columnist for the National Journal, caused a bit of a stir when he wrote on October 9: 

Virtually all of the serious 2010 GOP challengers have moved beyond opposing cap-and-trade to dismissing the scientific evidence that global warming is even occurring. … It is difficult to identify another major political party in any democracy as thoroughly dismissive of climate science as is the GOP here. Eileen Claussen, president of the Pew Center on Global Climate Change, says that although other parties may contain pockets of climate skepticism, there is “no party-wide view like this anywhere in the world that I am aware of.”

It will be difficult for the world to move meaningfully against climate disruption if the United States does not. And it will be almost impossible for the U.S. to act if one party not only rejects the most common solution proposed for the problem (cap-and-trade) but repudiates even the idea that there is a problem to be solved. The GOP’s stiffening rejection of climate science sets the stage for much heated argument but little action as the world inexorably warms … .

Brownstein’s candor on this issue yielded reactions of welcome surprise in outlets ranging from Treehugger to Climate Progress to Ross Douthat’s blog at the New York Times. But a strange thing has happened to Brownstein’s column as Election Day approaches: It has disappeared without a trace from the National Journal’s website.

Maybe the writer changed his mind about climate change and pulled it. Maybe a link has simply broken. Maybe a climate-related weather event has disrupted the connection to the server. Or perhaps someone at the National Journal decided it was time to unhost the attention-getting piece, an unwelcome bit of self-criticism at a time when line-toeing and back-patting is in order.

In the meantime, StopGlobalWarming.org has posted a copy of the column, which is perfect for sharing with conservative-leaning friends and family before they vote.

11/2/2010 9:47:29 AM

Julia, I appreciate you passion for enviormental issues. I share that passion I just dont buy into global warming. I am not even saying it isnt happening I just dont think the world will implode in 2015. Disease famine and war due to over population are a bigger threat to us than Global Warming. SO as I said I appreciate and share your passion but the two do not have to be connected. You say I must know GW has everything to do.....no I dont know how global warming is tied to a paper company that again tragically polluted that area 30 years ago. No connection.

Julia Jones
11/1/2010 4:46:54 PM

Rodeen: My remarks are very brief due to limited space but you must know that climate change problems include everything wrong with our environment at the present time. I did not mention in the first comment that the polluted air and the smell from paper mills lingers long after the factories are gone. South Arkansas is where I grew up and believe me the damage done was enough to run off even the federal government's facilities there during WW2. The area is totally dead now except for Brown & Root's descendants plus a few other contractors. I have nothing again profits; all I ask is ethical actions and environmental awareness.

11/1/2010 4:44:40 PM

Katja, It would be easier for me to illustrate my response to your comment. Close your eyes and picure a middle aged man banging his head against his desk repeat this image 25 times.

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