Sanitizing the GOP's climate-change denials

Wednesday, November 24, 2010; 8:33 PM

Sherwood Boehlert finds incomprehensible the obstinate adherence to a science-blind ideology on the part of his fellow Republicans ["Science the GOP can't wish away," Washington Forum, Nov. 19]. His attempt to buck the prevailing sentiment in the GOP is commendable, for the facts of climate change are incontrovertible and the threat climate change presents is terrifyingly real. Mr. Boehlert cites Ronald Reagan as a Republican president who "embraced scientific understanding of the environment and pollution." Well, um, no.

That would be the same Ronald Reagan who famously opined that "trees cause more pollution than automobiles do" and who appointed James Watt as interior secretary and Anne M. Gorsuch as head of the Environmental Protection Agency. The former was a biblical rapturist who saw no need to preserve the environment (since the end of time was imminent); the latter's attempts to gut the Clean Air Act took Congress years to undo.

What I find incomprehensible is Mr. Boehlert's attempt to sanitize the Republican Party's multi-decade history of denying ideologically inconvenient facts.

Warren Senders, West Medford, Mass.

© 2010 The Washington Post Company