Climate Change: Republican Platform provides a blast from the past
I experienced a time-warp today and traveled into the past. It was a world where children and teachers attended schools without fear of death. A world where 160,000 Americans hadn’t perished from an uncontained virus, unemployment was 4%, not 10%, and federal police were not crushing peaceful protests for presidential photo ops. The year was 2016, and the vehicle transporting me into the past was the 2020 Republican platform. I intended to research current Republican stances on climate change, and what I found was a place where time stood still for four years.
But we must work with what we have and play the cards we were dealt. Evidently, the year 2016 represents peak development of Republican philosophy, and nothing of value has happened in the past four years to mandate updates — except for changing the date from 2016 to 2020. Concerning climate change, no new scientific understanding of our environment arose during the last presidential cycle, so no new policy positions merited consideration.
The phrase “climate change” appears seven times in the Republican Platform. Notably, it appears three times in the section on America’s Natural Resources: Agriculture, Energy, and the Environment. One of these references pops up in a sub-section entitled, A New Era in Energy:
“Climate change is far from this nation’s most pressing national security issue. This is the triumph of extremism over common sense, and Congress must stop it.”
The section Environmental Progress contains a particularly poignant paragraph coming to the defense of scientific decision making (well, sort of):
“Information concerning a changing climate, especially projections into the long-range future, must be based on dispassionate analysis of hard data. We will enforce that standard throughout the executive branch, among civil servants and presidential appointees alike. The United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is a political mechanism, not an unbiased scientific institution. Its unreliability is reflected in its intolerance toward scientists and others who dissent from its orthodoxy.”
The remaining four references of climate change in subsequent sections are reserved for attacks on Democrats and the current executive branch. Yes, it’s true, the current executive branch, read for yourself:
“We intend to restore the treaty system specified by the Constitution: The President negotiates agreements, submits them to the Senate, with ratification requiring two-thirds of the senators present and voting. This was good enough for George Washington but is too restrictive for the current chief executive, who presumes to bind this country to bilateral and multilateral agreements of his devising. His media admirers portray his personal commitments — whether on climate change, Iranian weapons, or other matters — as done deals. They are not…”
“We will no longer tolerate a President whose rules of engagement put our own troops in harm’s way or commanders who tell their soldiers that their first duty is to fight climate change.”
Whoops! Since when is it fashionable to have a platform attacking your own party’s President. Come on, at least they could make an effort to change the names. Unless, perhaps, the Platform expressing the party’s basic premise for governance is simply a farce. Let’s hope the Democrats can muster enough energy to update their Party Platform.
Back to the Republican Platform and climate change
After a long and thorough review of all Republican positions on climate change, as stated in their national Platform, I can summarize: “What! No! Hoax! Look over there, ANTIFA protesters!”