Photo: nosha, Flickr, CC BY-SA
Well, sure: Plenty of folks (myself included) have been pointing out the GOP's persistent fixation on denying the existence of climate change for quite some time. But it's always satisfying when the nation's paper of record weighs in on your side. Yes, the New York Times has dedicated its opinion page to blasting the ridiculous, anti-science views of the current Republican presidential candidates (and by extension, the party as a whole).
The key takeaway:
It's Jon Huntsman and Mitt Romney (sorta) who fit buck the standard, but even they are miles away from anything resembling a credible plan for addressing the climate crisis.
The Republican presidential contenders regard global warming as a hoax or, at best, underplay its importance. The most vocal denier is Rick Perry, the Texas governor and longtime friend of the oil industry, who insists that climate change is an unproven theory created by "a substantial number of scientists who have manipulated data so that they will have dollars rolling into their projects."
Never mind that nearly all the world's scientists regard global warming as a serious threat to the planet, with human activities like the burning of fossil fuels a major cause. Never mind that multiple investigations have found no evidence of scientific manipulation. Never mind that America needs a national policy. Mr. Perry has a big soapbox, and what he says, however fallacious, reaches a bigger audience than any scientist can command.
With one exception -- make that one-and-one-half -- the rest of the Republican presidential field also rejects the scientific consensus.
This editorial from the Times isn't likely going to convince the Tea Party core -- which has Republican ideology in its thrall -- to start taking climate more seriously. But the more people that understand exactly what is taking place in our national climate "debate" (I shudder to call it that), the better.