Sunday Night Owls: Republicans STILL oppose climate policies that would reduce fossil-fuel use

Sunday Night Owls: Republicans STILL oppose climate policies that would reduce fossil-fuel use

Night Owls, a themed open thread, appears at Daily Kos seven days a week

Jonathan Chait at New York magazine writes—“Republicans Remain Opposed to Any Policies That Would Reduce Fossil-Fuel Use”:

For more than a decade, the GOP has stood alone among major right-of-center parties in industrialized democracies worldwide in its refusal to endorse climate science. But during the Trump era, the party’s rhetorical emphasis shifted. The major Republican point of agreement is now to insist on fossil-fuel use as an inherent good.

The conservative Washington Examiner reported not long ago on what kinds of climate policies, if any, Republicans may support under a Biden administration. Most of the Republicans queried for the story implicitly agree that climate change is a problem but insist that big government is not the solution. Their buzzword is innovation. A spokesperson for Senator John Barrasso, chairman of the Committee on Environment and Public Works, explains, “He believes free-market innovation, not government taxation or regulation, is the best way to address climate change.” Representative Tom Reed says, “You lead with innovation.” And the Chamber of Commerce likewise asserts, “It’s OK to have ambitions, goals, and targets, but our focus is on innovation and technology.”

“Innovation” sounds like promising grounds for cooperation. The green-energy sector has seen an explosion of innovation over the past decade, with the price of solar energy, batteries, and other green technology plummeting rapidly.

But what kind of innovation do Republicans want? Halfway through the Examiner story, we arrive at the bottom line: “Republicans remain opposed to any policies that would reduce fossil-fuel use.” […]




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I have big ears. It’s kind of a Baker family curse. I still wear a mask, without fail, even though the ear loops pull and make them that much more prominent. That’s how much I love you guys. 😉 👂🏾😷👂🏾

— Dr. Twyla Baker (@Indigenia) November 29, 2020


At Daily Kos on this date in 2010—Cancun: Modest Expectations:

A 12-day conference on climate change begins today in Cancun, Mexico. It’s the 16th such conference since 1995. The consensus view? Don’t expect any big breakthroughs in curbing greenhouse gas emissions. Perhaps this is some kind of magical thinking. You know, if we don’t raise our public expectations too high, maybe something remarkable will emerge by the time the delegates head for home.  

After the rotten outcome at the Copenhagen conference a year ago in which an anticipated comprehensive agreement on curbing greenhouse gas emissions was not reached, caution is certainly called for. Even if something major were to be achieved, whatever the Obama administration signs off on in Cancun is almost certain to be shot down in Washington given that Republican ranks in Congress are now overflowing with climate-change deniers. Sen. Jim Inhofe, who has called climate change a hoax, was once viewed even by most of his own party as pretty much of a kook in this matter. A fair chunk of the elected GOP now apparently see him as a prophet.

So, 15 years after the process began, with predictions of dire consequences from climate change more dire than ever,  small steps—so-called “building blocks”—are the best that can be hoped for. This myopia is so despite the prediction of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research that there will be a billion people who lose their homes because of climate change and 3 billion who lose access to clean drinking water supplies. […]

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