Why Does the GOP Still Ignore Climate Change?

Hurricane Isaac. (Photo via Flickr/NASA Goddard Photo and Video)

With Hurricane Isaac hammering Louisiana with 80 mile-per-hour winds, you would think the Republican Party might pause to consider: “Hey, what’s with all this crazy weather?” New Orleans, after all, is just a short trip around the Gulf of Mexico from Tampa, where the GOP is holding their Republican National Convention. And it’s clear they’re aware that Isaac actually exists, since they shortened the convention from four days to three—not necessarily because Tampa was going to get hit, but just to avoid the “optics” of a big Republican party occurring while New Orleans floods. After all, George W. Bush didn’t avail himself too well during Katrina.

But instead of acknowledging the fact that climate change exists and is responsible for the increasing weather extremes—more hurricanes, more snowstorms, more tornadoes, more scorching-drought-filled summers—the Republicans continue to not just ignore climate change, but mock President Obama for being concerned about it. The only mention of climate change in the entire 2012 Republican Platform isn’t in the environmental/energy section, but in a critique of Obama’s national security strategy:

“The current Administration’s most recent National Security Strategy reflects the extreme elements in its liberal domestic coalition…the strategy subordinates our national security interests to environmental, energy, and international health issues, and elevates “climate change” to the level of a “severe threat” equivalent to foreign aggression.”

Why would the Obama administration consider climate change to be a severe threat? Well, maybe it’s because the military and the Defense Department are really worried about it. Consider the Department of Defense’s Quadrennial Defense Review Report, which notes that:

“While climate change alone does not cause conflict, it may act as an accelerant of instability or conflict, placing a burden to respond on civilian institutions and militaries around the world. In addition, extreme weather events may lead to increased demands for defense support to civil authorities for humanitarian assistance or disaster response both within the United States and overseas.”

Or, how about, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta:

“The area of climate change has a dramatic impact on national security,” Panetta said. “Rising sea levels, severe droughts, the melting of the polar caps, the more frequent and devastating natural disasters all raise demand for humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.”

Or, work by independent nonprofit groups:

“A subsequent assessment by the National Research Council found that even moderate climate shifts will impact Navy operations. Sea-level rise and more severe storm surges will hit coastal military bases, and marine forces could also face more work in responding to an increase in humanitarian crises following disasters. The opening of the Arctic as sea ice disappears will likely require more patrols in harsh conditions as nations and industry interests are expected to vie for control of new trade routes and energy resources.”

The list could go on and on. Listen, I’m not pretending I have the solutions to climate change. But the military preparing for it seems like a pretty wise idea. And denying its existence when a hurricane is screwing up your convention is not just short-sighted, but sheer obstinate lunacy.

  • Robert

    Most people who identify as Republicans are at the lowest and most primitive narcissistic level of human evolution and consciousness. People’s egos at this level are alienated from Self, Nature, people, life, and Nature’s G-d. Deep down inside their corrupt souls, Republicans hate Nature and despise people and the human race in general. They act out this alienation in everything they do and say…without being conscious of it. Modern day psychologists would label such people “adult wounded children”. These are people that never completed their ego development. They are the least evolved among us. The heart center is diseased and closed hence why they demonstrate no empathy, compassion, or concern for humanity or planet Earth. This is also why they rush to war. Narcissists are not people with “too much self love”. Narcissists are people with no love…and are nasty and aggressive. This is the explanation for how Republicans can overtly deny climate change in the face of overwhelming data to the contrary. In actuality, Republicans do not have the intelligence or the consciousness to vote responsibly and should be stripped of that right.

    • Mary

      Great response Robert! I couldnt have said it any better!!!

    • Steve

      Robert, let me be the first to say that your comment is rock-hard stupid. Blazing hot mid-day sun on Mercury stupid. Surface of Venus under 80 atmospheres of red hot carbon dioxide and sulfuric acid vapor dehydrated for 300 million years rock-hard stupid. Stupid so stupid that it goes way beyond the stupid we know into a whole different sensorium of stupid. Trans-stupid stupid. Meta-stupid. Stupid so collapsed upon itself that it is within its own Schwarzschild radius. Black hole stupid. Stupid so dense and massive that no intellect can escape. You have emitted more stupid/second than our entire galaxy otherwise emits stupid/year. Nothing else in the universe can be this stupid.You are an oozingly putrescent primordial fragment from the original Big Bang of Stupid, a pure essence of stupid so uncontaminated by anything else as to be beyond the laws of physics that define maximally extrapolated hypergeometric n-dimensional backgroundless stupid as we can imagine it. Your comment is a grand unified theory of stupid. ok?

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1057318049 Michael Anderson

      LOL Nice one, troll. It seems like you are describing Obama to the letter there. Nice job… keep up the good work. Oh… by the way… he’s a Democrat. Also, your “overwhelming data” has already been proven as a hoax. You know… all that “hockey stick” nonsense by cooking the numbers. Guess you were under your rock that day.

  • Chad

    Hmm… Looks like the article is full of crap – global warming is causing more hurricanes – not according to the National Hurricane Center (http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/pastdec.shtml). Increasing extremes – will take that as larger storms – nope, even larger hurricanes are becoming less frequent. But say what you want – facts are facts.

  • http://www.thepiratescove.us William Teach

    Oh, good grief. What an unbelievable load of mule fritters. Are you actually suggesting that Isaac is a result of “climate change”? You do understand that hurricanes existed before 1980, right? And that landfalling hurricanes have dropped precipitously since the end of the 2005 season?

    That Isaac was the first real hurricane (barely) to strike the continental US in almost 4 years? That no major hurricane has struck the US in over 2,500 days, the longest period on record? That hurricane numbers and strength are down overall?

    That 2011 and 2012 saw low numbers of tornadoes?

    And, seriously, once you start blaming snowstorms on greenhouse gases, the shark has been jumped. What you are pushing is a pseudo-religion, not science. But, then, when you are calling it “climate change”, you’re not interested in science, but politics. Calling it “climate change” is simply a way to blame everything on Mankind, yet, strangely, few Warmists actually practice what they preach.

    Perhaps you should spend more time exhorting your fellow believers to give up their fossil fueled travel, no more using ice makers and DVRs, unplug every appliance that is not in use, only buy local, and bike to work.

    The GOP doesn’t ignore the weather: there just isn’t much we can do about it.

    Seriously, snow storms? Good grief.

  • DavidNutzuki

    So progressivism is promising to make the weather nicer and colder and if I don’t vote left, my kids will die in a climate change crisis?
    Nice! Good luck with threatening the voter’s children to get elected.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1057318049 Michael Anderson

    Why??? Because “Climate Change” is a big hoax. Anyone with half a brain could figure that out.

    • Alec Sevins

      Wrong. Anyone with half a brain is likely to be a global warming denier. You can’t just call something a “hoax” and make it so by merely saying it. But you know that and don’t care. It’s called lying.

  • Alec Sevins

    Republicans are fine with scientific evidence IF it brings good news and supports their greed-based ideology. But when science says Man is destroying and destabilizing nature, scientists are automatically clueless socialists. That applies to any environmental problem that doesn’t cause immediate, glaring effects, which gives fools a loophole to pretend it’s not real. CFC-related ozone depletion was the GOP’s last big round of denial per that concept.

    P.S. Do Republicans think Man isn’t causing smog wherever there happen to be lots of people, cars and factories? I doubt it. But man-made CO2 is just an invisible form of smog in a slower-moving context. I hope some of them see their hypocritical cherry-picking tactics.