Hey, what is the current Republican position on climate change?


It hasn’t been very consistent, veering from “it isn’t happening” to “CO2 is healthy!” to “Al Gore is fat!”. Right now, according to prominent blowhard Erick Erickson, the correct answer is “We’re all going to die anyway, so who cares?”.

We’re all going to die or something according to the latest hysteria from the United Nations now that government bureaucrats have sufficiently added hype and hyperbole to the IPCC report on global warming a/k/a climate change.

Folks, I do not care. Let me assure you that the world is not going to end and we are not going to cause ourselves to go extinct. This report is written by a bunch of people who believe in the evolution of humanity, but somehow think mankind is unable to adapt to changing circumstances. 

The simple fact is that, if they are right and the world is warming, there is nothing we can do short of economic Armageddon to stop it. We’ve already told most of the third world they have to hide under nets or die of malaria because we do not want them using DDT. We should not now tell them they have to turn off their electricity and never improve their existence because of global warming.

That middle part is funny. We’re not supposed to do anything, because mankind will magically adapt to changing circumstances. But the whole point is that circumstances are changing, and some of us are saying we need to adapt or die, and Erickson’s whole point is that we should choose the “or die” option.

I’d tell you that stupid joke about the old man who refuses to be rescued from a flood because he’s waiting for God to save him, but I hate that joke.

Comments

  1. Akira MacKenzie says

    However, it’s that third paragraph that convinces most people. The Right has successfully made the fear that dealing with climate change or other environmental problems will result in throwing away technology and reducing our civilization to a pre-industrial (or earlier) state. People tend to like their electricity, their central heating/cooling, indoor plumbing, private automobiles, computers with wifi, antibiotics, single cup coffee makers, battery powered sex toys, etc. and are loathe to even considering to part with them.

    Until you can respond to that third paragraph and convince people that cleaning up the environment doesn’t mean luddism, they’re going to listen to idiots like Erickson.

  2. says

    Minor point, but DDT is still used in Africa to combat malaria, in housing interiors and impregnated nets. And of course nobody is saying people shouldn’t use electricity — on the contrary, we’re talking about sustainable means of generating it, and then using it efficiently. Sustainable generation is actually the easiest path to getting electricity to more Africans, because it requires less transmission infrastructure and imported fuel. But the guy isn’t trying to understand anything, he’s just an ignorant blowhard.

  3. kevinalexander says

    Our fearless leader up here in Canada has the same attitude, that of the last guy at a gang bang. Hey, Mother Earth’s fucked anyway, it can’t get worse if I get mine.

  4. pianoman, Heathen & Torontophile says

    I’m fairly certain that there is some scientific data showing that if Erickson did in fact hasten his own demise, that the climate would improve in some way.

  5. U Frood says

    So drag your feet denying global warming until it’s too late to do anything about it and then throw up your hands. “Nothing we can do now. Let’s burn some more oil”

  6. loreo says

    That liar does not give a shit about the “Third World”.

    Just wanted to point that out.

  7. Alverant says

    Really? Most scientists I’ve heard from says mankind is capable of adapting. It’s just that people like Erikson refuses too on the false belief it will cause “economic Armageddon”. Then he complains about hyperbole.

  8. mudpuddles says

    Ah yes, the old “people are dying of malaria because environmentalists / liberals / the UN banned DDT” myth.

    “We’ve already told most of the third world they have to hide under nets or die of malaria because we do not want them using DDT.” Uhmmm… those nets are usually impregnated with… DDT. But screw facts, right?

  9. cartomancer says

    The phrase “Economic armageddon” here means “the reduction of profits for the oil companies and financial institutions that support them”. Sounds like an armageddon we should all want to be a part of…

  10. Nick Gotts says

    Minor point, but DDT is still used in Africa to combat malaria, in housing interiors and impregnated nets. – cervantes@2

    Not a minor point at all. The lie that environmentalists (and specifically Rachel Carson) are responsible for malaria deaths is an important component of the right’s campaign to discredit both environmentalism and science. It’s comprehensively refuted, and its origins are detailed, in Oreskes and Conway’s Merchants of Doubt.

  11. Nick Gotts says

    Until you can respond to that third paragraph and convince people that cleaning up the environment doesn’t mean luddism, they’re going to listen to idiots like Erickson. – Akira Mackenzie@1

    Who is this “you” whose responsibility for combatting lies about climate change absolves Akira Mackenzie of any? In fact, “cleaning up the environment”, and specifically, cutting greenhouse gas emissions as fast and as much as is necessary, may well require a certain degree of sacrifice on behalf of the rich (including me, and most of those who comment here). More certainly, it requires sustained political action to bring about radical change in the political and economic systems.

  12. says

    We’ve already told most of the third world they have to hide under nets or die of malaria because we do not want them using DDT. We should not now tell them they have to turn off their electricity and never improve their existence because of global warming.

    Because conservatives care so much about the poor.</sarcasm> Who was it again who consistently oppose foreign aid?

    And no progressives want to deny the third world electricity. We’d just prefer them getting electricity by installing solar panels and wind turbines, rather than building coal-fired power plants – exactly what we want people to do here too, as it happens.

    And the idea that this is going to cause economic collapse is ridiculous. Why wouldn’t people be able to make good money installing solar panels and wind turbines?

  13. Akira MacKenzie says

    cervantes @ 2

    And of course nobody is saying people shouldn’t use electricity…

    Back when I was a right-winger, denying environmental claims was a bit of a hobby of mine. I’d sift through anti-environmentalist screeds (Dixie Lee Ray’s comes first and foremost to mind since her bullshit was prominently cited by Rush Limbaugh) and usually they were filled with scaaaaaary “neo-luddite” quotes from Jeremy Rifkin, ELF, Earth First! and other of the more extreme individuals or groups which PROVED the environmentalism’s real and ultimate goal was to use these “hoaxes” as a means to drags us “back to the Pleistocene” where we’d all be cave-dwelling, Gaia-worshipping, communist hunter-gatherers with a life expectency of 40.

    For an 17-18-year-old middle class suburbanite, the prospect was terrifying and shut me off to any facts that showed otherwise.

  14. Akira MacKenzie says

    Deen @ 12

    Because conservatives care so much about the poor.

    Oh, it’s not the plight of the poor or the Third World Erickson is talking about, but what he sees as “hypocrisy” on the part of liberals. If the Left REALLY cared for the poor in the developing, we’d let the dump DDT on everything, drive fuel-inefficient cars with leaded gasoline, build coal fired plants in their backyard, and let them become capitalist fat cats.

    And the idea that this is going to cause economic collapse is ridiculous. Why wouldn’t people be able to make good money installing solar panels and wind turbines?

    Because according to the cant, you’ll never have enough solar cells or wind farms to power our multi-terrawatt civilization. You need more power. Besides, manufacturing photovoltaic and wind turbines requires heavy, pollution-creating industry that environmentalists claim to hate so much. So once again, liberals are supposedly “hypocrites.”

  15. Akira MacKenzie says

    ybtabby @ 15

    The Five Stages of Climate Change Denial: Denial, Denial, Denial, Denial, Acceptance deny with their last breath on their deathbed.

    FTFY.

  16. raven says

    Let me assure you that the world is not going to end and we are not going to cause ourselves to go extinct.

    Bad fundie theology.

    According to Erickson’s own fundie xian cults, jesus is going to Show Up Real Soon, kill 7 billion people, and destroy the earth.

    The simple fact is that, if they are right and the world is warming, there is nothing we can do short of economic Armageddon to stop it.

    Bad thinking. Erickson always comes across as dumb.

    If we don’t deal with climate change, it will definitely be an economic Armageddon. As well as a megadeath event.

    Oddly enough, he has half a point. We aren’t going to do much about CO2 rising. That is the clear history of the last 30 years. But we are going to adapt. It’s not like we have any choice.

  17. raven says

    The Five Stages of Climate Change Denial: Denial, Denial, Denial, Denial, Acceptance.

    it’s denial, denial, denial, denial, raising the entire city of Miami up by 5 feet, and abandoning a lot of the eastern coastline and southern Louisiana.

  18. a_ray_in_dilbert_space says

    One of the biggest lies from the drill-baby-drill folks is that going to a carbon-neutral economy would bring economic ruin. It would raise energy prices in the short term by a few percent, but in the long term would bring significant economic and technological growth. So the lies of the right in chronological order:

    1) It isn’t happening.
    2) It’s not our fault.
    3) It will be beneficial.
    4) There’s nothing we can do about it.
    5) Repeat

    These assholes can’t open their mouths without lying.

  19. says

    Well no, he’s not telling us to choose the “or die” option, he’s saying we need to evolve away our need to eat food, and possibly evolve until we stop having health problems from poor air quality.

  20. unclefrogy says

    I really have a hard time understanding that level of deliberate ignorance and its continuing acceptance by a sizable percentage of people.
    I do not know what sacrifices they claim we who support the consensus on climate change say we will have to submit to.
    It is just air pollution we are talking about after all, autos are not less powerful because of pollution control regulations nor have the manufacturers gone out of business because of them.
    Led lighting is not less bright nor in the long run more expensive.
    I sure that many examples could be and have been found to counter every argument put out by the right wing shills. What gets me is that they are not very forcefully made even by the “leaders” of what now is considered left.
    uncle frogy

  21. says

    This report is written by a bunch of people who believe in the evolution of humanity, but somehow think mankind is unable to adapt to changing circumstances.

    …he says, before insisting there’s no feasible way for mankind to adapt to changing circumstances.

  22. Crimson Clupeidae says

    My favorite recent article relating to this was the oil company on the east coast (in NJ?) that was applying for government money to protect its coastal refinery from the erosion of rising sea levels that it says isn’t happening……

  23. John Horstman says

    Sustainable living does indeed require going without luxuries to which we have become accustomed that rely on the exploitation of unsustainable resources. This doesn’t mean e.g. abandoning all electricity and the technology it powers, but it absolutely does mean an end to the kind of over-consumption and especially easy, cheap (oil-based) long-distance transit that many in the West and especially the USA have come to expect as entitlements. I’m not ONLY talking about people jetting around the world every few days (as some do often and many do occasionally), but even things like structuring population geographies so that so many people have hour+ commutes on a daily basis. If everyone lived (could live – many people can’t afford the necessary rents on what their jobs pay them) within a couple miles of where they worked and biked or walked every day, we could cut our oil usage in half (or close to it) just like that. We could further reduce oil needed for transit by structuring cities with more varied, localized access to stores and other services (instead of centralized commercial districts) and fully funding low-energy public transit projects. We could make production of goods more localized/distributed so that globally we wouldn’t be shipping raw materials and components around the globe several times over to manufacture a widget. If we switched mostly/entirely to electric vehicles, the reduced strain on energy resources resulting from lower usage could even mean we could continue light usage of cars/trucks indefinitely (i.e. sustainably). This doesn’t mean abandoning technology, but it still means abandoning a lot of the simple convenience many, many people think they need (or somehow ‘deserve'; I should note that for many conveniences, there are a minority of cases that do represent true need).

    A lot of these things are “bad” from the standpoint of a capitalist economic perspective (and even a market perspective in some cases), so we’re going to need to undo years of anti-communist/anti-socialist propaganda in a hurry (becasue the only other options I see are disenfranchising or executing the massive portion of our population standing in the way, and neither of those options is particular appealing – I’d *like* to avoid a vicious civil war, if possible) to make it happen in time.

  24. microraptor says

    I’d tell you that stupid joke about the old man who refuses to be rescued from a flood because he’s waiting for God to save him, but I hate that joke.

    The best version of that joke ends with “who do you think sent the flood?”

  25. says

    Hey, what is the current Republican position on climate change?

    That legacy fossil fuel plants and energy companies must not have their profits and capital put at risk. Everything else is rationalizing.

  26. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    The Right has successfully made the fear that dealing with climate change or other environmental problems will result in throwing away technology and reducing our civilization to a pre-industrial (or earlier) state. People tend to like their electricity, their central heating/cooling, indoor plumbing, private automobiles, computers with wifi, antibiotics, single cup coffee makers, battery powered sex toys, etc. and are loathe to even considering to part with them.

    Until you can respond to that third paragraph and convince people that cleaning up the environment doesn’t mean luddism, they’re going to listen to idiots like Erickson.

    And unfortunately we’re getting that from both the left and the right.

  27. unclefrogy says

    No I disagree changing does not mean going without luxuries we have become accustomed to it means changing. We did not go from the luxury of a beautiful hand made two horse carriage with driver and groom we went to a marvelous industrially made luxury car that we can drive our selves.
    what we deem as luxuries and a sign of affluence and success are not objective judgments but very subjective in nature and are strongly influenced by social norms and conventions.
    Take a simple thing like a “healthy tan” which is how darkening of the skin is taken in the west currently to the extent that we have made devices to induce the skins response to increased ultraviolet rays to get that tan. Not that long ago only the poorer peasant class had a tan the luxury was pale alabaster skin always protected from the harshest light of the sun afforded by wealth.
    What we decide is luxury and desirable is flexible and is continually changing.
    Once the richest could afford to live on country estates to escape the filth and noise of the city now we have massive suburbs that surround all the world cities in massive sprawl were in the first world some city centers are almost deserted at night compared to the numbers during the day.
    living outside of the city is no longer the luxury it once was instead we have the burden of commuting and horror of massive traffic jams on a regular basis. The new luxury is short easy a commute and life in the rich social environment of the city away from the isolating distances of the housing tracks that surround the city.
    we will never be giving up our luxuries of convenience for any hair-shirt of noble sacrifice we will only go to a what we decide is better. It is not an objective judgement

    many transitions are disruptive the horse farms and feed distributors went broke or changed their business when we switched to the internal combustion engine
    like the old saying goes there is more than one way to skin a cat.
    uncle frogy

  28. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    Biofuels.

    (If we can ever get over/let ourselves get over the way the corn-ethanol fuckheads poisoned that well…)

  29. sc_770d159609e0f8deaa72849e3731a29d says

    But the whole point is that circumstances are changing, and some of us are saying we need to adapt or die, and Erickson’s whole point is that we should choose the “or die” option.

    I think his point is we choose that you die and then we won’t need to adapt.

  30. Scientismist says

    Hey, what is the current Republican position on climate change?

    That legacy fossil fuel plants and energy companies must not have their profits and capital put at risk. Everything else is rationalizing.

    Exactly. The only rational way forward is to expand production of renewable energy, and leave known reserves of oil, coal, and even natural gas undeveloped. Do you really think the fossil fuel barons are going to let all that potential wealth, to which they own the development rights, stay in the ground? Forever? The last time such an enormous economic asset was dissolved and rendered valueless was when slavery was abolished. Are you ready for another civil war, with transnational players?

  31. lorn says

    The mention of DDT was a code phrase for a right-wing trope, outright lie, that liberals and environmentalists won’t let the poor people use DDT to protect themselves from malaria and that this shows that they value their ability to regulate behavior and a few birds more than human freedom and millions of lives of poor brown people.

    There are fairly large, some of them fairly professionally produced and popular, web sites and entire books written expressly to promote that story line. This is pushed and referenced on right-wing sites so much that if you Google DDT several of the top sites that come up will be pushing this lie. In fact, the last time I looked into it, I had to dig a bit to find real, unbiased, scientific, information that gave a more complete story.

  32. mothra says

    There was a man in his Buena Vista, Florida, home. He went to start his car to go buy groceries but the engine was (literally) flooded. He got on the internet (on his upstairs computer) to order his Florida Rays tickets, but his local ISP provider was offline. Later, (from his attic), he tried to call Sci Fi City on his cell phone to see about prices for his old comic books in storage. That evening, and with his cell phone charge nearly exhausted, he was unable to reach Walmart to inquire about a trowel to clean the eves (since he was on the roof anyway). He good naturedly waved a greeting to the Florida governor whom he spotted in the helicopter overhead. As he began swimming, he wondered why his elected officials had not planned for occasional rainy days. And for an unrelated and completely different set of reasons, he never met St. Peter at the Pearly Gates.

  33. unclefrogy says

    thanks mothra for turning an old joke on its head and making me laugh while I contemplate our latest heat wave
    uncle frogy