About a year ago, former Rep. Bob Inglis (R-S.C.) made the case that his party has no choice but to come around on climate change -- "the facts," he said, will "overwhelm" Republican resistance.
Last week, Inglis' argument picked up some welcome support from four former EPA chiefs from Republican administrations, all of whom got together to write a New York Times op-ed on the "Republican Case for Climate Action."
Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) must have missed it.
On the environment, King said efforts to fight global warming are both economically harmful and unnecessary. "It is not proven, it's not science. It's more of a religion than a science," he said.He said that even if carbon dioxide in the atmosphere causes the earth to warm, environmentalists only look at the bad from that, not the good."Everything that might result from a warmer planet is always bad in (environmentalists') analysis," he said. "There will be more photosynthesis going on if the Earth gets warmer. ... And if sea levels go up 4 or 6 inches, I don't know if we'd know that."
First, climate science is based on voluminous, objective, peer-reviewed research. Second, it's a little weird to hear a conservative Republican suggest religion is inherently untrustworthy.
But the larger takeaway from King's remarks is that we may well be entering the next phase of climate denial. There have traditionally been three parts to this, but King points to a fourth.
Long time readers may remember the drill:
Phase 1: Conservatives claim climate change isn't real.
Phase 2: Conservatives concede that climate change is real, but insist we don't know what's causing it.
Phase 3: Conservatives accepting climate science, acknowledge that human activity is responsible for climate change, but argue that it'd be too much trouble to do anything about it.
King's argument, which pops up from time to time, is that we might like climate change so there's no real point in making such a fuss about the global crisis.
I'm afraid we're a long way from the facts "overwhelming" Republican resistance to science.