Members of the GOP are notorious for their stance against the idea that humans are causing global warming, or that global warming is real – nevermind that it’s caused by humans or not. Needless to say, climate change can be linked to human activities with a close to certain probability: 99.999%. But while the consensus on global warming among scientists has become even more entrenched, the subject has been polarized in the media to great lengths. As if it’s a matter for debate. It’s not really – it’s just the details that are worth debating. The fact that global warming is happening now and is accelerated by human activities is undeniable, yet many Republican Presidential candidates seem to refuse to acknowledge this out of ignorance or some other interest. Sen. Marco Rubio says “there’s no consensus”, Sen. Ted Cruz likens climate change proponents with “flat-Earthers” and Donald Trump… well.
This very expensive GLOBAL WARMING bullshit has got to stop. Our planet is freezing, record low temps,and our GW scientists are stuck in ice
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 2, 2014
Of all the major conservative parties in the democratic world, the Republican Party stands alone in its denial of the legitimacy of climate science. Within this context, it’s refreshing to hear some Republican Presidential candidates aren’t so adversarial to science. Last night during the GOP undercard debate, not one, but two candidates ‘kept it real’. New York Gov. George Pataki, for instance, said: “One of the things that troubles me about the Republican Party is too often we question science that everyone accepts.”
Sen. Lindsey Graham continued in the same note.
“You don’t have to believe that climate change is real. [But] I have been to the Antarctic, I have been to Alaska,” he said. “I’m not a scientist, and I’ve got the grades to prove it. But I’ve talked to the climatologists of the world, and 90 percent of them are telling me tat the greenhouse gas effect is real. That we’re heating up the planet. I just want a solution that would be good for the economy that doesn’t destroy it.”
It might not be long until climate change becomes a mainstream part of the Republican rhetoric. After all, politicians merely reflect what their electorate thinks. ZME Science previously reported that 73 percent of Americans believe global warming is real and 79 percent favor some sort of government intervention on the issue. According to a report issued by the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication a strong majority of respondents who identify as “liberal Republicans” believe global warming is happening — 68 percent — as do 62 percent of moderate Republicans. But only 38 percent of Conservative Republicans acknowledged climate change, while of those who self-identified with “tea party” only 29 percent did so also. Since most Republicans fall in the latter two groups, overall only 44 percent of Republicans believe global warming to be true. Even so, it suggests a shift in the way Republican voters understand climate change.