The emerging Eco-Right: Listen to this Republican clearly articulate the conservative case for climate action

Alex Bozmoski went to college a Republican climate skeptic.

He even signed up for a class on climate science just so he could heckle the professor.

But after really studying the science — and challenging his hardened assumptions and beliefs built up by the “talk radio tribe” — Bozmoski came to understand the problem.

“I was confusing conspiracy for uncertainty,” he said.

However, he found it hard to convince his fellow Republicans of the problem — partly, he believes, because the climate conversation was dominated by the vocabulary and political ideas of liberals.

Ever since, his career has been devoted to spreading the conservative case for doing something on climate change. And although it seems like a daunting task, he’s seen countless Republicans come around — once they can contextualize climate change within their own values.

“It’s really exciting when you can take your deeply held beliefs and principles and you can apply them to the things you care about,” said Bozmoski, who acts as director of strategy and operations for the Energy and Enterprise Initiative at George Mason University, also known as RepublicEn.

Listen to our conversation with him below. We talk about what might be in store when it comes to climate after the election. Specifically, we examine the future of the Republican party — and sketch out a scenario that could lead to full-blown bipartisan climate policy in the near-term. Maybe.

We recorded this episode November 1, exactly a week before the election. At this point, the race continues to tighten.

Whether or not Trump becomes president, some factions of the Republican party are already gearing up to make sure future conservative presidential candidates aren’t so out of touch with their thinking on the world’s most important issue, as Bozmoski explains.

Bozmoski’s journey from climate denier and troll to clean energy campaigner could serve as an example, in a single person, of the future of the Republican Party.

Warm Regards is hosted by Eric Holthaus, Jacquelyn Gill and Andy Revkin. It’s produced by Stephen Lacey.

Links to things mentioned in the podcast:

— Warm Regards is supported by Arcadia Power, the first company to give you a clean energy choice on your monthly power bill. Reduce your impact and get 4 free LED light bulbs sent to your door when you sign up: arcadiapower.com/warmregards.

— Check out Bozmoski’s organization, RepublicEn.

— Eric’s New Yorker article on the eco-right.

— Washington state carbon tax swap kerfuffle.