GOP Climate Denial Is Way Out of the U.S. Mainstream
The Party’s stance is out of touch with businesses, the public, scientists, and many GOP voters.
The national GOP seems to be locked into climate change denial. This stance puts the GOP leadership increasingly alone. They’re out of touch with the business community, the public, scientists, and even many of their own voters.
Out of Touch with the Business Community
- In 2015, Shell and BP called for international cooperation to achieve the 2 ° temperature target.
- Even Rex W. Tillerson, ExxonMobil’s chief executive and Trump’s nominee for Secretary of State, has “repeatedly said that he would support putting a price on carbon as long as it was ‘revenue neutral.’”
- In an open letter, hundreds of businesses urged Trump to stick with the Paris Agreement.
- The list of companies signing the open letter included DuPont, eBay, Nike, Unilever, Levi Strauss & Co., Starbucks, General Mills, Hewlett Packard and Hilton.
Out of Touch with the Public
- Last March, two-thirds of Americans agreed that climate change is caused by humans.
- According to Gallup, that’s the highest number since the start of the century.
- Forty percent say they view climate change as a serious threat, the highest since Obama took office.
- In another tracking poll, Gallup found that 60% of the public favor conservation by consumers over development of more oil, gas, and coal resources.
- And by the same percentage, the public favored prioritizing the environment over energy needs.
- A University of Texas poll shows that millennials are even more concerned, with 90% believing in the reality of climate change.
Out of Touch with Republicans
- The March Gallup poll on climate change showed that 40% of Republicans now agree that climate change is happening and caused by humans.
- A post-election survey of a thousand voters by the Conservative Energy Network showed heavy majorities of Republicans favoring more use of solar and wind.
- The same poll showed strong support for increased solar (76%) and wind (62%) in the Deep South,
- And voters who considered themselves “somewhat conservative” still favored more solar (60%) and more wind (57%).
Out of Touch with Scientists
- The American Physical Society, on behalf of the nation’s physicists, says: “If no mitigating actions are taken, significant disruptions in the Earth’s physical and ecological systems, social systems, security and human health are likely to occur. We must reduce emissions of greenhouse gases beginning now.”
- The American Chemistry Society says: “comprehensive scientific assessments of our current and potential future climates clearly indicate that climate change is real, largely attributable to emissions from human activities, and potentially a very serious problem.”
- The National Academy of Science endorses the need for action on climate change.
- So does the UK’s Royal Society, as do the scientific organizations of Russia, China, Japan, Brazil, Italy, Germany, India, and Canada.
Isn’t it time for the GOP to stop burying its head in the sand and confront the reality of climate change?
Dan Farber has written and taught on environmental and constitutional law as well as about contracts, jurisprudence and legislation. Currently at Berkeley Law, he has al…READ more