As I have said before, the GOP position on climate is unstable, both intellectually and politically. You can’t credibly deny the science at this point, but if you accept it, “do nothing about it” is an incoherent response. They’ve only gotten away with it for this long because the media and the public don’t care enough to press them on it.
Climate hawks are always predicting that now, finally, is the time when that position will start to crumble. I’ve predicted it myself, and been wrong, or at least premature.
Nonetheless, it really does feel like something is starting to happen. The GOP’s incoherent climate shuck-and-jive is under pressure and the cracks are starting to show.
The conservative base is convinced that climate change is a U.N. plot for world government. Meanwhile, mainstream elites in the U.S. and virtually every other country in the world, along with every major scientific institution on the planet, say climate change is a real problem. This puts some Republicans in a bit of a pickle.
There are many Republicans in the House of Representatives, and some in the Senate, who have no reason to care about anything but what the base wants. They are elected with sufficiently large and safe majorities that their only real worry is attack from their right. And of course there are lots of conservative commentators, pundits, and gasbags who make a living appealing to the base and have no incentive whatsoever to challenge it…more