Ironic, ain't it? Think of all the money the fossil fuel barons spent training the Republicans to ignore, deny and obfuscate climate change. You know the Republican party is run by the crazies when even the climate-denying Exxon is begging the government to do something:
The Washington Post reports Sunday that ExxonMobil has a far saner view of global warming than the national Republican party.
Fred Hiatt, the paper’s centrist editorial page editor, drops this bombshell:
With no government action, Exxon experts told us during a visit to The Post last week, average temperatures are likely to rise by a catastrophic (my word, not theirs) 5 degrees Celsius, with rises of 6, 7 or even more quite possible.
This is indeed basic climate science.Of course, thanks to excellent reporting by InsideClimate News, we now know ExxonMobil had been told by its own scientists in the 1970s and 1980s that climate change was human-caused and would reach catastrophic levels without reductions in carbon emissions. Yes, this is same ExxonMobil that then became the largest funder of disinformation on climate science and attacks on climate scientists until they were surpassed by the Koch Brothers in recent years — but that is a different (tragic) story.
Hiatt’s point is to show “how dangerously extreme the Republican Party has become on climate change,” and that that “Republicans’ ideologically based denial is dangerous and cowardly.” After all, the oil giant ain’t Greenpeace.Yet unlike the national GOP leadership and its presidential candidates, “the company believes climate change is real, that governments should take action to combat it and that the most sensible action would be a revenue-neutral tax on carbon,” that taxes fossil fuels like coal and oil and returns the money to taxpayers.
What is the reason for “the know-nothingism of today’s Republicans”? Hiatt offers a partial explanation: “Some of them see scientists as part of a left-wing cabal; many of them doubt government’s ability to do anything, let alone something as big as redirecting the economy’s energy use.”
But he misses a key element — namely the deafening echo chamber of the right wing’s media and think tanks. As David Brooks — who is often, but not always, part of that echo chamber —explained last week, on the climate change issue:
[T]he G.O.P. has come to resemble a Soviet dictatorship — a vast majority of Republican politicians can’t publicly say what they know about the truth of climate change because they’re afraid the thought police will knock on their door and drag them off to an AM radio interrogation.