First it was China. And this last week, India Unveils Climate Change Plan. So now the first and third biggest greenhouse gas polluters have come out with plans to cut their emissions. In case you were wondering, we are now number two. But when it comes to per capita greenhouse emissions, we are still number one! So let’s give a cheer for that:
We’re number one! We’re number one!
Back in August, after Obama put out new rules designed to fight global warming, the conservative reaction was not good. Marco Rubio said, “As far as I can see, China and India and other developing countries are going to continue to burn anything they can get their hands on.” Of course, since the announcements of China and India, Rubio has had nothing to say. As Steve Benen said, Rubio Needs a New Excuse to Ignore the Climate Crisis.
That’s true of all of them. Any reason they give for being against doing anything about global warming is nothing more than an excuse. It’s like my three stages of global warming denial. But I’ve since learned that there are more stages, because literally no amount of information will ever stop the deniers. They simply don’t want to do anything and the reasons are irrelevant.
But is this not the Republican Party since Reagan? They simply believe certain things and it doesn’t matter how much evidence against it piles up. They don’t accept global warming, and that is probably the most important, in the end. But they believe that tax cuts for the rich will fix the economy (I wrote about that earlier today). They believe that whatever next war they’ve gotten into their heads is going to turn out great. They believe that if only we make it easier for people to carry guns, our gun homicide rate will go down. It goes on and on and on.
It’s not surprising that most of the things they just “know” also happen to help various wealthy interest groups. That’s what it is all about. And there is no interest group more wealthy than the oil companies. So Steve Benen proposes an interesting question: what will Rubio’s new excuse be? I don’t think it is hard to predict. He’s said other things against doing anything about global warming. He’ll just pivot back to, “We can’t hurt our economy!”
There will always be an excuse. And the economy is the perfect excuse because it can always be used. I’ve written a lot in the past that we really should have been doing something about global warming the past seven years, because lots of resources were going unused. It was a time when updating our power system would have actually helped the economy. Doing so during a booming economy will hurt it. But the Republicans will never accept this thinking. They will always be able to make the “It will hurt the economy!” argument. So they will make it — at least until crop failures and decimated coastal cities make it impossible.
Actually, I know what will happen. Eventually, there will be a new generation of Republicans who accept global warming when denial of it is as publicly supportable as denial of the Holocaust. And they will tell us that they are different from the Republicans that came before. They won’t be. But the media will treat them as if they are. Because our media always does that. Because it has worked out so well thus far.