Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Republicans ignoring their own scientists on climate change

Katherine Bagley in Inside Climate News anatomizes a ghastly turn of events: A number of prominent U.S. climate scientists who identify themselves as Republican say their attempts in recent years to educate the GOP leadership on the scientific evidence of man-made climate change have been futile. Now, many have given up trying and the few who continue notice very little change after speaking with politicians and their aides.

"No GOP candidates or policymakers want to touch the issue, and those of us trying to educate them are left frustrated," Kerry Emanuel, an atmospheric scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a registered Republican, told InsideClimate News. "Climate change has become a third rail in politics."

Heading into the 2008 presidential election, Sen. John McCain of Arizona, the Republican nominee, warned about the dangers of global warming. He was one of a group of moderate Republicans who used to be leading climate action advocates, acknowledging the scientific consensus on climate change and the need for federal policies to address it.

But with the rise of the Tea Party movement in 2009, skepticism or even flat-out denial of global warming has become part of the party's core message. And no candidate now vying for the GOP nomination can admit to the scientific consensus, much less advocate for measures to curb climate-altering emissions, no matter what positions they might have taken in the past....

Image by Hessa.k.soud, Wikimedia Commons, under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license

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