July 26, 2013

It’s been another stormy week for congressional Republicans on climate change. House Republicans voted to cut the Environmental Protection Agency’s budget by one-third. Republican members of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works said climate change stopped 15 years ago, which is some kind of perverse admission that climate change must have been real in the first place.

This post won’t even try to convince deniers that global warming is real, man-made, and an urgent crisis. They have already rejected a consensus of 98 percent of global scientists who say it is all that. Rather, let’s argue the politics.

Denial of climate change is in the queue with gay marriage, reproductive rights, immigration reform and another possible Republican-induced debt-ceiling crisis as issues that continue to damage the Republican Party’s brand. New evidence of the potential political impact of climate denial came this week in a poll, conducted by a Republican and Democratic firm, that was released by the League of Conservation Voters. The poll of registered voters younger than 35 found that 73 percent of this group believe climate-change denial to be “ignorant,” “out of touch” or “crazy”. These are not brand associations that suggest success