Former Skeptic Denounces GOP's "Ideologically Driven Magical Thinking" on Climate

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Image credit: ecoAmerica

With Fox New spreading anti-climate talking points, and GOP candidates falling over themselves to deny climate change exists, ecoAmerica's new blog couldn't launch at a more important time. Promising to "start with people", the blog intends to make the case for why environmental protection is central to prosperity, health and happiness. And what better way to kick off that mission than to provide a platform for Michael Stafford, author and former Republican Party officer, to renounce the GOP's "ideologically driven magical thinking" when it comes to climate change?The Mainstream Case for Environmentalism
When Simran Sethi spoke to ecoAmerica founder Bob Perkowitz back in 2007, it was clear that he was neither your typical environmentalist nor your average conservative. Perkowitz and ecoAmerica have always sought to broaden the environmental debate and to make it relevant to mainstream America—regardelss of political leanings or cultural biases. Their new blog ecoAffect: for professionals changing the culture on climate looks set to be an important contribution to those efforts.

A Conservative Ex-Skeptic Speaks Out for Action
From making the case for reconnecting with nature, to Bill McKibben's take on climate change and recent extreme weather, there's a wealth of great, thought provoking material here. But it was former-skeptic Michael Stafford's piece on coming to terms with climate change that first caught my eye:

The rejection of proven science in favor of a form of ideologically driven magical thinking by the GOP is extremely unfortunate, and unnecessary. As D.R. Tucker has observed, " It does not put America on the road to serfdom to suggest that the federal government has a compelling interest in protecting the country from ecological damage. If anything, it puts America on the road to common sense." Similarly, the embrace of climate denialism by the GOP today represents a rejection of the traditional conservative concern for preserving and extending the stability of communities and institutions over time- of stewardship for society. As David Jenkins has pointedly noted: "The policies being peddled by these folks reflect a live for today-let me do what I want mentality that has nothing to do with the conservative notion of protecting the interests of future generations."

As I argued before in my post on whether environmentalism is socialist, the idea that we need to protect the Earth that shelters us and makes our culture (and politics) possible should not be an issue of partisan debate. Nor should the fact that this protection needs to based on a sound understanding of the science.

Doubtless, conservative and liberal environmentalists will continue to disagree on the best way to address the challenges we face—but it's good to see prominent conservative voices speaking up for the fact that ignoring established science is neither a sensible strategy nor a morally-justifiable position for the GOP to take.

More on Environmentalism and Politics
Is Environmentalism Socialist? Comrade, Please...How Fox New's Spreads Anti-Climate Talking Points
Bob Perkowitz of ecoAmerica: The TH Interview

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