The Politics of Climate Change

The graphic on the left is by THINKPROGESS.ORG

This is a subject that I don’t like to write about. If I write that one party is responsible for inaction on climate change then that party will point to those in the other party that are blocking action. Much can be said about other issues like gun legislation, immigration, bank reform, etc. But if you take a broad look, you see that one party is mostly responsible for inaction. The bulk of that party doesn’t even believe that climate change is real.

“The last session of the House of Representatives, from 2011 to 2012, was the most conservative in more than 60 years, according to the Brookings Institution.
The think tank, along with the American Enterprise Institute, released a trove of data last week—the annual update to the Vital Statistics on Congress—and the data show a stunning shift to the right among House Republicans over the past 35 years. House Republicans have been getting more conservative than House Democrats have been getting liberal, according to the data.” You can find the report here.  There might be a 10 second ad before you can read it.

“A new report released by the office of Rep Henry Waxman (D-CA) — the ranking member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee — found a substantial “climate disconnect” between the House GOP’s voting record and the soaring temperatures its constituents experience last year.”

It found that, “In the end, Republican representatives from the districts hardest hit by higher temperatures took the anti-climate position on those votes 96 percent of the time. By contrast, House Democrats from the most-affected districts took the pro-climate stance 86 percent of the time.”

The article about the report stated,”… the international reinsurance giant Swiss Re released a report in March that 2012 —the hottest year on record for the lower 48 states — saw the United States suffer $119 billion in economic losses due to extreme weather, far more than any other country.”

So why is the Republican Party taking this anti-climate position? Maybe it’s the Koch Brother’s Pledge. The Investigative Reporting Workshop at American University found that:

“A quarter of senators and more than one-third of representatives have signed a little-known pledge — backed by the Kochs — not to spend any money to fight climate change without an equivalent amount of tax cuts.

They are among 411 current office-holders and politicians, including Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, Virginia Attorney General and gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli II, Florida attorney general Pam Bondi, three members of the Railroad Commission of Texas, the Oklahoma schools superintendent, the Idaho state treasurer and three justices of the peace in Arkansas who have signed the “No Climate Tax Pledge.” …

While the pledge began with a marginal following, an energized turnout of conservative voters in the 2010 election swept 85 freshman Republicans into the House. Of those 85 Republicans, 76 signed the Koch pledge as candidates. And 57 of those 76 received campaign contributions from Koch Industries’ political action committee.

With the support of these newly elected Republicans, from 2011 to 2013, Congress passed increasingly smaller budgets for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), attempted to strip the agency of varying regulatory powers and discouraged policies to address climate change across multiple federal agencies, according to the Workshop’s analysis.

You can read about this report on the Grist Website here.

Want to waste energy? Apparently the Republican House does. They have once again blocked efficiency standards for light bulbs. “Those standards were first enacted in 2007 under the Bush Administration by the Energy Independence and Security Act.”

Someone in the GOP needs to say it: conservation is conservative; climate change is real; and conservatives need to lead on solutions because we have better answers than the other side.” A Republican actually said that but unfortunately he had to say it under a pen name to protect himself. Maybe it because of the “pledge”.

Compare all this with the Democrats. Harry Reid, the Democratic Majority Leader in the Senate, just blamed climate change for the wildfires that ravaged Nevada.


2 thoughts on “The Politics of Climate Change

  1. Folktales, Science and Statistics | Offlogic's Weblog

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