Climate Change and Its Persistent American Deniers

by Aditya Dabral
(London, United Kingdom)

Skeptics are right when they say that CO2 concentration fluctuates. However, as illustrated by the graph, there’s a very clear and worrying trend. And that’s the fact it’s going up.

Skeptics are right when they say that CO2 concentration fluctuates. However, as illustrated by the graph, there’s a very clear and worrying trend. And that’s the fact it’s going up.

Just the other day, I watched the Republican debate. It was being billed as dogfight and it didn't disappoint, with Donald Trump deriding Rand Paul for having a "hard night" and Marco Rubio audaciously stating that the Democrats can't even find one good candidate. A notable omission from the broad set of questions thrown at them was the issue of climate change. Here’s where they all stand on it.

Republican Stance on Climate Change

Jeb Bush accepts it’s happening, but he’s less certain about whether humans are doing it or not, which is odd because it’s been nearly two years since the UN confirmed that human activity is the main driver behind global warming. Ben Carson thinks that the whole debate is "irrelevant" which is fairly tragic if anything.

Chris Christie acknowledges global warming is real and man-made. I am happy that at least one Republican is talking sense on this. Unfortunately, while Christie acknowledges man-made climate change, he fails to see the urgency at which it must be dealt with. In fact, he said that it was "not a crisis."

"I wish (Obama) would focus on America first and the issues that are of most concern to the American people right now," Chris Christie said during a December 2015 campaign stop in New Hampshire. "And believe me, in a list of those climate change would not make the top 10, I suspect." (Source).

Ted Cruz claims that "in the last 17 years, there’s been zero warming" which is simply him spreading misinformation. Mike Huckabee thinks that climate science is not settled yet, despite the facts being pretty comprehensive.

John Kasich thinks climate change is real and is a problem but also thinks that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) should not regulate emissions, which leaves me very confused on how he would intend to protect the environment.

Rand Paul is “not sure anybody exactly knows why” climate change is happening. Well Rand, 97%* of scientists do. Marco Rubio doubts man-made global warming because "the climate is always changing." While the climate is continually changing, the graph above illustrates he’s shying away from some basic facts.

Donald Trump posted on Twitter that "The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make US manufacturing non-competitive." I'm not sure that this even warrants a sincere reply. And finally, Scott Walker signing a "no climate tax pledge" suggests he’s probably denying it. He’s definitely against stopping the problem, that’s for sure.

That makes for some very depressing reading, huh?

Follow the Money

The worst part is that I'm sure some if not most of these Republicans know they're buying into a scam. Big money interests such as the Koch Brothers, who have decided on spending close to $900 million on the 2016 election, have long gone out of their way to oppose climate change legislation.

This is because a lot of their wealth is generated through the distribution of coal and petroleum, which isn't exactly renewable energy. This is harmful because only 21% of Republicans view global warming as a "serious problem" and these candidates are doing a good job of trying to keep that figure low.

An Inconvenient Truth by Al Gore (imagine if he was the President of the United States) explains the monumental scale of the problem at hand.

If you’re interested in learning more about climate change and its effects on the environment, then I strongly recommend you watch the film. Protecting our planet can and must be a priority.

*This figure is contested but if it’s not 97%, I can assure you it’s still an overwhelming majority.

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