Although climate denial is a central tenant of the Republican party today, this position may soon prove to be politically untenable.
Speaking at Yale University, on Tuesday, October 14th, the United States’ lead climate negotiator said that climate change denial could soon become a political liability.
“We have all seen in recent years the abruptness with which hot-button issues can suddenly become the stuff of consensus,” Todd Stern, the special envoy on climate change for the US State Department, told students, faculty and members of the public.
Either as a function of the scientific evidence or as a consequence of persuasive extreme weather events like super storm Sandy, Americans will be forced to come to terms with the reality of climate change. This will shape public opinion and make climate denial political suicide. Once public opinion achieves a critical mass, Republicans will be forced to adopt climate friendly positions.
“I doubt, even a year from now, whether major political candidates will consider it viable to deny the existence of climate change,” Stern said.
The speech came just a few weeks ahead of US midterm elections scheduled for November 4. Stern will be present at the 20th meeting of the UN climate conference in Lima, Peru scheduled for December of this year. It is hoped that this meeting will chart the course toward a successful international climate agreement in 2015.