NYTimes web page has a lead story about how the Republican Party and its financiers first sold to the public and then politically embraced the view that the facts and forecasts for global warming or climate change are “fake science.” There’s a lot of criticism of how the Democratic Party and President Obama acted in ways that played into the GOP game plan. Current public opinion polls show that people in the US generally accept the reality of climate change and human/commercial behavior as a factor causing the atmospheric conditions. But, and a big but, polls also show that most people don’t rank concerns about climate change as a top priority in voting.
There’s also in the article much reporting about the influence of the fossil fuel industry and big spenders like the Koch brothers in the campaign to discredit scientific findings about the extent and causes of global warming. The article has hundreds of comments as well, many of them decrying the big money in the pockets of national GOP elected officials. The state GOP officials, too.
Given what President Trump did this week, aided and abetted by his EPA guy Pruitt, I think it is fair to ask why the Democrats, the progressives, the liberals, the science-minded, the learned, the people whom I believe know better and are right about the danger to the Earth—it is fair to ask, Why is the GOP winning the argument at the policy level? I read the complaints about spending by the anti-science crowd. It’s a fight. They have a strong interest. They are willing to spend money and distort the facts in order to get their way. So it requires fighting back in a bold and smart way. It’s not as if there is no money in the pockets of people who believe differently.
To me, it looks like the Democrats and the progressives got out-organized, out-argued. Stop whining about how much money the Kochs and their kind put into the fight. Get more money on your side for education and lobbying and public enthusiasm that is converted into political action. I’m sick of hearing that the Kochs won this battle (maybe not the eventual policy war) because they financed a bunch of Republican congressmen and governors and attorneys general. The other side has to step up its game. There’s too much at stake.
If the national Democrats are so smart and on the correct side of knowledge on this issue, then do a better job making the case. Fight harder. Fight more creatively. Talk to people, to voters, in a way that makes sense to them and motivates action. It’s uplifting to see California Governor Jerry Brown and other Democratic governors and mayors ferociously pushing back against the GOP and pushing forward with Green programs. And kudos to the corporate leaders who say climate change is real, period. If you side with them, we just lost a big one in Washington, D.C., this week. As my friend Dick Howe, Jr., says, Elections have consequences. We got consequence’d this week by the Donald and oily Scott P. and the counselor of gloom, Stephen K. Bannon.