Earlier this month leaders from 195 countries celebrated the adoption of a historic, years-in-the-making agreement formalizing a global commitment to cut greenhouse gas emissions and curb the impact of climate change. Meanwhile, the GOP primary has us dealing with a slew of “I’m not a scientist” climate change deniers.
“Unless somebody can prove something to me, I believe there’s weather,” Donald Trump said earlier this fall. At other times, Trump’s claimed climate change is a hoax engineered by the Chinese to cripple the U.S. economy. He’s also made the case that snow and cold weather prove climate change isn’t real.
Following Donald Trump’s lead, nearly every GOP presidential candidate denies the scientific consensus that climate change is real and man-made. And not one candidate believes substantive action should be taken to do anything about it. Why? Because this is the year Trump took over:
- New Republic describes Marco Rubio, who certainly doesn’t think climate change is man-made or that anything should be done about it, as “the most dangerous GOP candidate on climate.” To put that in perspective: Donald Trump’s the guy who thinks climate change is a Chinese-engineered hoax, but Marco Rubio is even more dangerous. He called this month’s historic accord an “unfunny joke of a climate deal.” So it seems he remains unconvinced. Hey, at least he knows “America is not a planet.” And that President Barack Obama is “not a meteorologist.”
- Ben Carson doesn’t have any climate answers, either — but at least he has questions. Asked about his climate change-denial earlier this fall, Carson wisely noted, “Any point in time, temperatures are going up or temperatures are going down,” before pivoting to what he apparently sees as a more pressing matter: “These are all very complex things. Gravity, where did it come from?” Really makes you think.
- Ted Cruz doesn’t believe climate change is real. He certainly doesn’t think humans contribute to it — he voted against a Senate measure that would have declared as much. And though he’s the one denying a consensus of 97% of scientists, he says they’re the ones who “refuse to engage in the facts.” He also likes the Trump-Carson line that temperatures are always changing, and has argued: “there’s never been a day in the history of the world in which the climate is not changing.”
- And then there’s Jeb Bush, who’s a self-proclaimed “skeptic..not a scientist.” Sure, Jeb’s rational enough to acknowledge that global warming is happening — but he’s Trumply enough to deny that it’s caused by humans. So there’s that. Don’t expect him to take any steps to slow its effects — and certainly not to take a position of global leadership in doing so.
It’s the last day of 2015, but Donald Trump’s GOP takeover is just getting started. As of tomorrow there’ll be just four weeks until the Iowa Caucuses. The GOP base is loving Trump’s right-wing policies and rhetoric more than ever — and so are Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, and the rest of the Republican presidential field.
Published: Dec 31, 2015