Climate change may be an irrefutable fact but not for Republicans who brag about their scientific ignorance. Make
no mistake about it, this is all part of their denial strategy. Their clever denial strategies are helping them make inroads in the forthcoming midterms. On November 5, we will likely see even more
climate deniers take control of the world’s most powerful legislature. A number of
recent polls suggest that the GOP will take control of both the Senate and the House of Representatives.
Being a climate legislation obstructionist, is the key to securing massive infusions of cash from the fossil fuel industry. In this electoral cycle it is estimated that 4
billion will be spent most of which will go to GOP candidates.
Some Republican politicians have artlessly flip flopped on the issue, by distancing themselves from their previous acceptance of climate science (two examples are Scott Brown and Chris Christie). Some of the most ruthlessly self serving Republicans even try to make the absurd argument that climate change will be good for their states. This is the public position of Koch brothers puppet, Paul LePage the Governor of Maine.
Other Republicans have adopted strategies which are slightly more subtle. They have gone from outright climate denial to the position that they are not scientifically qualified to comment. For these conservatives, ignorance is the cornerstone of a new and improved form of denial.
The ignorance of climate deniers extends to the most powerful man in the House, Speaker John Boehner. He has echoed the “I am not a scientist,” talking point used by many Republicans. “I’m not qualified to debate the science over climate change.” Boehner said.
Mitch McConnell is also partial to the “I am not a scientist” line. He is also likely to be the next Senate Majority Leader. Other party faithfuls keep climate denial alive by saying they are not scientist. This list includes Florida Governor Rick Scott and Florida Senator Marco Rubio. Ironically, these two non-scientists represent one of the states that will be hardest hit by climate change.
As a political strategy, pleading ignorance is far more politically tenable than stating the facts. However, their cynical manipulation of the facts and the American electorate is unconscionable.
Republicans commonly vote on economic issues even though they are not economists and they have regularly weigh-in on Obamacare even though they are not doctors. It is like saying you have to be a physicist to appreciate the pain of something falling on your head.
The Republicans ignorance strategy is far worse than cynical subterfuge. All who plead ignorance are collectively guilty of dereliction of their legislative duties.
© 2014, Richard Matthews. All rights reserved.
Environmental Alliances in the 2014 Midterms
Midterm 2014: Fossil Fuels Win and Climate Loses
Environment and Climate Win Senate Race in Michigan Midterms
Climate Denying Koch Friend Wins Senate Seat in Iowa
Mixed Green Results in Florida Midterms
Polling Data: Climate Change and the US Midterm Elections
Midterms 2014: Five Good News Stories for the Climate and the Environment
Louisiana Midterms have Serious (Solar) Energy Implications
Midterms 2014: Energy an Issue in Swing States
Midterm 2014: Short Term Economic Concerns Trump Environmental Issues
Infographic – Midterms 2014: Issues and Social Media Use
Video – Midterms 2014 and Republican Climate Denial