Year 4, Month 2, Day 11: Zing! Went The Strings Of My Heart!

The Richmond Times-Dispatch (VA) wonders about Republicans:

President Barack Obama’s second inaugural address made specific references to climate change. He called on the country to address the process.

Republicans did not react with enthusiasm. Although he did not scoff at climate change itself, Iowa Sen. Charles Grassley questioned how much the United States could accomplish on its own. Climate change presents a global challenge, he explained; it requires a global response that is more appropriately addressed in negotiations and treaties than in congressional legislation.


The last time we checked, the Republican response to global initiatives regarding the climate fell somewhat short of gung-ho. Remember Kyoto?

Specific treaties or protocols must be judged on their merits. They do not command automatic support. Nevertheless, conservatives tend to be skeptical of international agreements that commit signatories to action. They consider them threats to American sovereignty. The other day, Del. Scott Lingamfelter, a candidate for the GOP nomination for lieutenant governor, warned that United Nations’ efforts, supported by the Obama administration, to combat “so-called global warming” assault the rights of Virginians. Republicans who rail against one-world policies are not noted for proposing homegrown plans to address the reality of climate change.

So I took this opportunity to rag on the GOP a bit. Always fun…and always well-deserved. Feb 3:

The Republican anti-response to the threat of climate change highlights the degree to which a once-proud political party is trapped in an ideological double-bind, captive to the tea-party extremism which helped them in the 2010 election, and which now dominates their primary process. Only the most extreme views — on climate, on health care, on gun control, on anything — can pass muster with their anti-reality core constituency.

While the GOP has always been ready to indulge a strain of anti-intellectual populism when it was politically expedient, its doctrinal rejection of climatological expertise is both scientifically and politically foolish. Scientifically — because the overwhelming majority of the world’s scientists are in absolute agreement on the factuality and human origins of the accelerating greenhouse effect; politically — because a significant majority of the American people are in agreement that climate change poses a genuine threat that warrants robust and meaningful government action.

Warren Senders

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