The article A Republican Case for Climate Action (Washington Post: Aug 1 2013) is an op-ed piece calling for the immediate recognition of climate change and significant steps to reduce it – globally.
What is notable is that the authors are four former administrators of the Environmental Protection Agency – under Republican presidents (Nixon, Reagan an the two Bushes). They support Obama’s climate action plan to deliver concrete progress.
There is no longer any credible scientific debate about the basic facts: our world continues to warm, with the last decade the hottest in modern records, and the deep ocean warming faster than the earth’s atmosphere. Sea level is rising. Arctic Sea ice is melting years faster than projected.
The costs of inaction are undeniable. The lines of scientific evidence grow only stronger and more numerous. And the window of time remaining to act is growing smaller: delay could mean that warming becomes “locked in.”
The writers are former administrators of the Environmental Protection Agency: William D. Ruckelshaus, from its founding in 1970 to 1973, and again from 1983 to 1985; Lee M. Thomas, from 1985 to 1989; William K. Reilly, from 1989 to 1993; and Christine Todd Whitman, from 2001 to 2003.
While the Comments section of the op-ed is replete with the great divide in public opinion, this inclusion of another conservative voice on climate change mitigation is certainly good to see.
It also reminds me of this Canadian context from Swallowing Fallacy – an Aim High post three years ago:
This National Post article by Jonathan Kay, Bad science: Global-warming deniers are a liability to the conservative cause (July 15, 2010), was refreshing to see in this publication even though many of the commenters tended to rake the author over the incendiary denial coals.
This is a phenomenon that should worry not only environmentalists, but also conservatives themselves: The conviction that global warming is some sort of giant intellectual fraud now has become a leading bullet point within mainstream North American conservatism; and so has come to bathe the whole movement in its increasingly crankish, conspiratorial glow.
and a little further on in the article:
In simpler words, too many of us treat science as subjective — something we customize to reduce cognitive dissonance between what we think and how we live.
In the case of global warming, this dissonance is especially traumatic for many conservatives, because they have based their whole worldview on the idea that unfettered capitalism — and the asphalt-paved, gas-guzzling consumer culture it has spawned — is synonymous with both personal fulfillment and human advancement. The global-warming hypothesis challenges that fundamental dogma, perhaps fatally.
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