House Republican Looks to Take Party in New Direction on Climate Change

rep-gibsonI’ve often likened the denial of climate change by Republicans to the past denial by big tobacco that smoking caused cancer and other various health problems. Back in the absurd days of “doctor recommended cigarettes” and “scientific evidence disproving the notion that smoking causes cancer,” big tobacco feverishly denied that there were any adverse affects to smoking. In fact, they’d often tout “studies” trying to disprove the mounds of scientific evidence that proved smoking did in fact increase the likelihood for someone to get cancer. Though these “studies” were nothing more than propaganda that was almost always funded by these big tobacco companies.

The truth is, if you pay the right corrupt doctor or scientist enough, they’ll say pretty much anything.

And that’s what we’re seeing right now when it comes to the Republican denial of climate change. A political party that’s more or less bought and paid for by big oil is doing everything it can to debunk the widely accepted scientific fact that climate change is being mostly driven by humans. And the way they do this is by using scientific uncertainty as “proof” that climate chance is just some liberal hoax. Sadly, it never dawns on these conservative voters that almost every single policy Republicans support favors big oil. Even as the GOP claims to be the “party for fiscal responsibility,” they fight tooth and nail to keep billions in oil subsidies flowing to big oil companies raking in tens of billions of dollars every single year.

But the truth is, climate change is real and humans have been playing a big factor in accelerating it. Whether or not most Republicans want to believe this is irrelevant. Because that’s the thing about facts, they’re real whether or not somebody wants to believe in them.

Well, there’s a slight glimmer of hope as Rep. Chris Gibson (R-NY) is set to introduce a resolution on climate change with the hope that it will wake some people up to the realities that we’re facing, not just as Americans, but as a species.

“My district has been hit with three 500-year floods in the last several years, so either you believe that we had a one in over 100 million probability that occurred, or you believe as I do that there’s a new normal, and we have changing weather patterns, and we have climate change. This is the science,” said Gibson.

He continued, “I hope that my party – that we will come to be comfortable with this, because we have to operate in the realm of knowledge and science, and I still think we can bring forward conservative solutions to this, absolutely, but we have to recognize the reality. So I will be bringing forward a bill, a resolution that states as such, with really the intent of rallying us, to harken us to our best sense, our ability to overcome hard challenges.”

Will his comments have any impact on the GOP? Probably not. The Republican party has two huge problems when it comes to climate change if they ever want to get on board to do something about it:

  1. They’re heavily backed by big oil, an industry trying desperately to convince people climate change isn’t real.
  2. Tens of millions of their voters believe God controls the weather.

And those are two hurdles they simply can’t get over. Even if they decided to reject big oil and endorse that climate change is real and being caused by humans, they still have a huge voting base who believes that even if climate change is happening, God’s the one causing it to happen. And you can’t reason with people who lack the ability to be reasoned with. No matter how much physical or scientific evidence you have.

All we can hope is that more Republicans begin to follow Gibson’s lead, though I’ll fully admit that I have very little optimism about that actually happening.

Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.


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