From the Washington Post Editor, Fred Hiatt:
What is the reason for “the know-nothingism of today’s Republicans”? Hiatt offers a partial explanation: “Some of them see scientists as part of a left-wing cabal; many of them doubt government’s ability to do anything, let alone something as big as redirecting the economy’s energy use.”
But he misses a key element — namely the deafening echo chamber of the right wing’s media and think tanks. As David Brooks — who is often, but not always, part of that echo chamber — explained last week, on the climate change issue:
[T]he G.O.P. has come to resemble a Soviet dictatorship — a vast majority of Republican politicians can’t publicly say what they know about the truth of climate change because they’re afraid the thought police will knock on their door and drag them off to an AM radio interrogation.
To understand how dangerously extreme the Republican Party has become on climate change, compare its stance to that of ExxonMobil.
No one would confuse the oil and gas giant with the Sierra Club. But if you visit Exxon’s website , you will find that the company believes climate change is real, that governments should take action to combat it and that the most sensible action would be a revenue-neutral tax on carbon — in other words, a tax on oil, gas and coal, with the proceeds returned to taxpayers for them to spend as they choose.5, 6, or 7 degrees Celsius is environmental catastrophe. It would mean our civilization reduced to tribal cultures living in northern latitudes. Hundreds of millions of people will have starved to death.
With no government action, Exxon experts told us during a visit to The Post last week, average temperatures are likely to rise by a catastrophic (my word, not theirs) 5 degrees Celsius, with rises of 6, 7 or even more quite possible.
“A properly designed carbon tax can be predictable, transparent, and comparatively simple to understand and implement,” Exxon says in a position paper titled “Engaging on climate change.”I hear this on NPR and I'm not able to attribute it properly. We are like a family speeding down a highway at 80 miles an hour, and signs have been posted along the road warning of the road being covered with ice down aways. We could slow the car down and safely drive across it, but instead we are failing to pay attention to the warnings and are traveling toward the ice in the road head for certain disaster.
And it's the Republicans in the car that are keeping us from slowing it down.