Conservatives go all in on climate denial and delay. While the grim implications of the science and observational data discussed above have become painfully obvious to everyone else, conservatives simply refuse to accept reality. For instance, even though a very warm 2008 makes this the hottest decade in recorded history by far — and even though 2008 was about 0.1°C warmer than the decade of the 1990s as a whole (even with a La-Niña-fueled cool winter) for some deniers, “2008 was the year man-made global warming was disproved.” Seriously.
The entire conservative movement, including pundits, think tanks, and politicians, now appears willing to stake the future of humanity on their willful ignorance.
- Virtually every conservative in the Senate voted against the Boxer-Lieberman-Warner climate bill even though that bill was inadequate to stopping catastrophic warming.
- James Sensenbrenner (R-WI) believes a cap & trade bill will return GOP to power “in 2010″
- Grover Norquist asserts that calls to take global warming more seriously will be “cheerfully ignored“
- 64% of GOP voters say global warming denier Palin is their top choice for 2012,
- “Several prominent party officials said they believe the GOP’s message is fundamentally sound when it comes to energy policy, pointing to that issue as one of the few political bright spots in recent years.“
- The Heritage Foundation even opposes energy efficiency
- The American Enterprise Institute is still crazy with denial and delay after all these years
- The Cato Institute believes adaptation is cheaper than mitigation.
- Columns by Charles Krauthammer and George Will and John Tierney have become science-free zones that demand more climate research while inveighing against all serious climate action and against all non-nuclear clean tech.
That’s why the deniers are winning, especially with GOP voters or rather only with GOP voters.
Few challenges facing America — and the world — are more urgent than combating climate change. The science is beyond dispute and the facts are clear. Sea levels are rising. Coastlines are shrinking. We’ve seen record drought, spreading famine, and storms that are growing stronger with each passing hurricane season.Climate change and our dependence on foreign oil, if left unaddressed, will continue to weaken our economy and threaten our national security....
Now is the time to confront this challenge once and for all. Delay is no longer an option. Denial is no longer an acceptable response. The stakes are too high. The consequences, too serious.
While history can be instructive it does not provide eternal solutions to our problems. The examples of Easter Island and the Mayans show the folly of ignoring reality. Conservatives and others need to discard unexamined shibboleths, and embrace needed changes so that we can preserve the values we all believe.