While the headline may be overstated, The Coming GOP Civil War Over Climate Change, the National Journal’s new article on Republicans and climate change, is worth reading for anyone interested in finding the political solutions that will lead us to scientific solutions for climate change.
The piece, written by Coral Davenport, profiles conservatives like economist Gregory Mankiw, an advisor to both President George W. Bush and GOP nominee Mitt Romney, who are concerned about climate-related threats to our economic and fiscal stability. It also highlights a growing moral concern among some conservatives – including the Christian Coalition of America -- over the effects stronger storms and dangerous floods may have on the world’s poor.
While most GOP elected official are still cautious about embracing mainstream climate science for fear of attacks from the most conservative wing of the party, a majority of Republican voters accept that our climate is changing. It’s unclear what it will take for the party to reach a political tipping point, but with increased activism by movement conservatives and acceptance by rank and file voters, a shift may be possible.
As Samuel Thernstrom, a former Bush advisor and current American Enterprise Institute scholar, says in the article, “The position that climate change is a hoax is untenable.”