The Tea Party’s Climate Change Denialism Is Scaring Off The GOP Regulars

The Tea Party has always been the GOP’s far-right flank. Despite its small membership and radical views, it has mustered up an undue measure of influence in the Republican Party due to its fanatical posturing and wealthy financial backers. Now a new study by the Pew Research Center sheds light on a profound split between Main Street Republicans and the deep right-field Tea Party. Pew’s research reveals that…

“Just 25% of Tea Party Republicans say there is solid evidence of global warming, compared with 61% of non-Tea Party Republicans.”

So a solid majority of Republicans recognize the reality of Climate Change that is affirmed by 97% of scientists who have studied the matter. But only 25% of Tea Partiers respect the peer-reviewed evidence of Climate Change. While some of the Tea Partiers say that they don’t have enough information as to whether the Earth is warming, a majority of the skeptics stubbornly insist that it’s “just not happening.”

This split between the Tea Party and the rest of their Republican pals in the public at large is not reflected in the GOP representation in Congress where a majority of the GOP caucus aligns itself with the deniers. Nor is it represented in the conservative media that stridently rejects any suggestion that the planet faces any climate risks. The inevitable result of that divergence is that a portion of the population is woefully misinformed about Climate Change. Even worse, the bias disseminated by right-wing media foments a distrust in science and scientists in general.

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Consequently we see absurd departures from reality that are based strictly on partisan propaganda. When the White House issued an executive order to facilitate “efforts to improve climate preparedness and resilience; help safeguard our economy, infrastructure, environment, and natural resources,” Fox News covered the event by saying that “Obama uses executive order in sweeping takeover of nation’s climate change policies.” The report had an alarmist tone in warning that the order will “potentially skirt legislative oversight and push a federal agenda on states.” Fox ignored the actual substance of the order that explicitly stated that “This order shall be implemented consistent with U.S. obligations under international agreements and applicable U.S. law, and be subject to the availability of appropriations.” The language addressing appropriations specifically bows to the oversight authority of Congress that Fox denied existed.

Fox’s report further injected a partisan intent on the part of the White House to deliver climate policy implementation to a cabal of Democrats. Three separate times in the report Fox noted the presence of Democrats on the task force that the executive order created. Why that should surprise anyone is a mystery. The President is entirely within his rights to appoint members of his party to executive branch committees. More importantly, why would anyone go out of their way to put the sort of climate science deniers that dominate the Republican Party on a committee tasked with mitigating the effects of Climate Change? It would be like asking atheists to lead the Christian church’s membership drive.

By disseminating false and misleading information about Climate Change, Fox News has been a significant factor in dumbing down the small portion of the electorate that is glued to their network. The more gullible among them, specifically the Tea Party faction, have become ardent opponents of reform measures to address Climate Change. And now it appears that they have drifted so far from the GOP mainstream that they have little in common with the average Republican’s position on this issue.

Nevertheless, the Republicans in Congress will continue to obstruct reasonable reforms that are supported by the majority of America, and even the majority of their party. That defiance is directly attributable to their fear of Tea Party primary challenges and their dependence on Tea Party billionaires like the Koch brothers. Until the GOP unshackles itself from their extremist wing and exhibits a willingness to cooperate on issues where they share common ground, voters must replace them with either common sense Republicans or Democrats. And if the Pew study is any indication, Republican voters are getting ready to do just that.


11 thoughts on “The Tea Party’s Climate Change Denialism Is Scaring Off The GOP Regulars

  1. The conservative Republican’s mind is a scary place. Exhibit A — their “sh*t happens” rationalization regarding global warming and climate change trends:

    “Global warming is a fallacy. My evidence? It snowed today in Alaska.
    Of course, if it is real, it has nothing to do with carbon-based gas emissions. My 4th grade science teacher told me so.

    But then, if carbon gases are responsible, it has nothing to do with human activity — it’s totally natural, like plastic.

    However, if it turns out that global climate change is the result of manmade carbon-based gas emissions, well, it’s God’s will. Therefore, only He can do anything about it.”
    And in any case, an increase in average global temperature really isn’t all that bad — after all, you’ll be able to wear tank tops and shorts in January.

  2. The Liberal mind is a scary place. There is absolutely no scientific truth that global warming exist due to green house gases. What is a fact is that the earths surface is warming in urban areas. Fact is that the lower troposphere has not changed in temperature over the past 23 years and this correlates with information from weather balloons. The surface temperature has risen in urban areas. What also should be noted is that these temperatures have not been monitored at different places around the globe. Another fact that should be noted is that the Arctic ice caps have increased 29% over the past year and this is before the freezing season started.
    This conversation has done Nothing except line the pockets of people like Al Gore and cost tax payers tons of money with regulations and taxes. Why is the surface in urban America warming? It may be due to over building, over population and concrete everywhere. Let’s spend our money wisely and research this instead of throwing it at an old hypothesis like greenhouse gases.

    • Your one line about the ice cap growth shown in NASA satellite pics – 60% growth based on the article I read – is interesting in that it has been totally ignored. I read about that a couple months ago – the pictures appear to be August 2012 and 2013, so it’s not all that long ago. If the pictures showed a reduction, can you imagine the scream you would hear. Mark only deals in what supports his point of view. A good writer, but a blind follower of leftism.

      • The Artic ice sheets have shown reductions for years running, until 2012. But of course, you don’t care about that. You care only about one data point (2012), not trends in data (1971 – 2013). You see Climate is a trend, and weather is an event. Trends are made up of many events. You cannot point to a single event and say, ‘Ah ha! That proves the trend is wrong!’ What you have to do is observe a series of events, the more the better, and derive a model or trend from them. Thus science…

        Steve in York only deals in what Faux Noise tells him. A bad speller, and a blind follower of right-wing propaganda.

    • There is absolutely no scientific truth? REALLY?!? Ah shit, I’m convinced then, there’s absolutely no scientific truth to it!! How can anyone refute a simple outright denial of massive amounts of perfectly verifiable data gathered and tested and peer reviewed over several decades? I mean, this guy just says there is ABSOLUTELY NO SCIENTIFIC TRUTH! Why wouldn’t I believe him??

  3. Wow. The anti-science crowd is out in force today. They still think that 97% of climate scientists are all lying and collaborating to foment a hoax.

    • That’s what I find incredible… they believe in 3% over the 97%. “I’m right and everyone else is wrong.”

      The “urban areas” argument may in fact account for the small rise in temperatures in the urban areas, it doesn’t account for the heat waves and drought in the rural areas. The “urban areas” argument is only a justification given to the easily manipulated. Who benefits from these arguments tells you everything you need to know. The fossil fuel industry needs the weak minded to believe everything they are told.

      It appears to be working with some.

  4. The thing that I find funny is the evolution of the denial. We have gone from “there is no problem” to “we cannot prove WE are causing it” to “its the democrats fault”, living in their urban bastions with their bicycles, mass transit.

    The only other place you see it really is how religions will deny emerging science until it has no choice but to work it into its own ideology so as to not loose anymore relevance (ie creationists).

    • Yeah, I remember when they actually caved and admitted to it, but the new talking point was ‘is it necessarily a bad thing?’ That lasted like two weeks, and then they lunged back on that after that hacked email of one data point that they never actually changed came out.

      The true injustice, not just in this issue, is politicizing science. It’s an example of intense greed permeating our system, in that it has succeeded in turning the best thing to happen to the species into ‘that doesn’t jive with my world outlook and political preconceptions, so it’s us vs. them and I won’t/can’t be bothered to be convinced by evidence‘. In a super short time, it has become a pillar of the right, and one that will inevitably lead to the further stupification, for the right proudly so, of the country. It really is incredible what the government hating portion of the country will believe what their politicians say, just because they align that way. Capitalize on irrational hatred and foment irrational distrust so they can win, not so they can further perfect the union.

  5. I love the way warmists try to sweep Climategate under the rug.
    Pretend they didn’t hear about “Mike’s nature trick” or Al Gore saying more than five years ago that the polar ice caps would be completely melted in five years.

    Then we have Mr. Al stating that it’s ok to have “an over representation of the facts” (translation: lies) to bring attention to the issue.

    The reason Big Al can’t get air time for his stupid Telethon is that the media realizes that they are making assess out of themselves. Just like they did when they supported Obamacare.

  6. By the way, that 97% number has been debunked. It originally came from a History Prof for crying out loud who completely cooked the books on the numbers. And by the way, even if the number were 87%, do you expect these scientists making out like bandits to suddenly say: “please stop sending us money, it’s no longer a problem.”?

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