Sunday, October 10, 2010

Republican Party denialism and Roger Pielke Jr.'s analysis

The National Journal finds that no major party in any democracy is as thoroughly in denial about climate science as the Republican Party. Roger Pielke Jr. writes "it didn't have to be this way....I have no idea as to how that circumstance may have evolved differently." That seems incoherent to me, especially as he acknowledges a strong and widespread anti-environment shift among Republican political candidates. He does his best to blame climatologists for provoking this shift instead of reacting to the shift.

What I really had been looking for in Roger's work is this piece from 2007 saying that climate science was so widely accepted that the "issue of science is no longer relevant to debate in Congress." Even in 2007, the massive level of Republican denialism meant only 57 Senators accepted the consensus position. Not enough to overcome a filibuster, and Roger felt that denialism didn't matter.

I think the level of denialism at the highest level of the Republican Party has an obvious connection to the inaction we've had in the US, and it should be a pretty obvious connection.

Unfortunately, it took me a while to find that 2007 post of Roger's. While looking for it, I also came across this one from 2009 saying cap-and-trade is likely to get Congressional support sufficient to pass in the next few years; another one making the (incomprehensible to me) argument that improved mitigation of potential weather-related damages doesn't affect the damage signal from climate change; and another from 2007 saying the public has accepted climate change science (with the implication being there's no point in battling denialists).

I'm not finding any of these five blog posts particularly persuasive.

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