The GOP’s war on climate change

Critics note the Republican agenda is paved with bad intentions especially when it comes to climate change, which is a growing global concern and a real issue the GOP continues to deny.

Now, reported Triple Pundit, as the concerned (and sensible) portion of America – including the working class – debates the issue with the radical Right, a new book has linked climate change with violence and conflict.

Tropic of Chaos, by Christian Parenti, poses the theory that climate change is causing violence around the world right now, particularly in the Southern parts of the world. The book ultimately suggests the best way to deal with ongoing global violence is to save the world’s natural environment.

As progressives campaign to address global warming, their efforts may not bode well as the Right Wing continues to stirr up conflict on the issue. They have deliberately, strategically, turned a collective blind eye to climate change as a whole. And for GOP presidential hopefuls, the idea of even acknowledging climate change is tantamount to becoming political cannon fodder. This is evident by the fact that when even someone like GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney had enough sense to address the topic, other Republicans attacked him, and it ultimately did nothing to strengthen his agenda.

But the next logical question one might ask is, what can be done to remedy the issue?

According to the report, Parenti maintained that the problem was going to stick around for a while. “Get used to it,” he said. “Food, weather, upheaval, and war – these are likely to be the [news] headlines not only for decades to come, but tied together in all sorts of complicated and unsettling ways.”

Parenti went down the list of current environmental dilemmas: “Extreme weather and increasingly severe droughts, whether in Texas, China, or Somalia; crops burned to a frizzle; starving people desperately on the move; incipient resource wars; and a world in which the basics of everyday life are increasingly beyond the buying power of tens of millions of the poor – that’s a recipe for our future. Unfortunately, it’s also increasingly the present, as grain crops fail in various global breadbaskets and food prices soar.”

Parenti may actually be more optimistic than he sounds, because he also mentions that we should strive not only to be more environmentally conscious, but that we should – and can – learn to live within the limits of the planet.

It would seem that Republicans have not yet learned to do this – that is, if one were to look at offshire oil drilling, fracking, and negligence in preventing wildfires for reference.

In a study for Grist, writer David Roberts analyzed why right-wing politicians, particularly, as he put it, “conservative white men,” seem to be against anything that is even remotely environmentally conscious.

“The most significant force behind climate change denial” for conservatives, he said, “is not any ineffable psychological mystery, but simply the increasing intensity and radicalization of the American conservative movement. The same dynamic afflicting climate change is afflicting the debate over fiscal policy, the economy, jobs, and health care. The Right is rejecting empirical reality and adopting a stance of unshakeable ideological opposition to anything the non-Right does. Loyalty to tribe and hostility to outsiders is at the core of the [right-wing] perspective.”

With the 2012 election coming up, Republicans are hitting the campaign trail. There is an ongoing drive among the Right Wing to push environmental concerns aside, and if the GOP is behind the wheel, progressive America does not want to be the deer caught in the headlights.

In an era where politicians – and morals – crossroad, it’s time to take a sharp Left turn and stop ignoring climate change

Photo: A sign held by a demonstrator for recognition of climate change on Parliament Hill, proving that the environment is of international concern. Pawel Dwulit/AP Photos, Canadian Press.



Blake Skylar
Blake Skylar

Blake writes on environment and culture. He has covered issues including the BP oil spill and the UN Climate Conference in Paris. In 2015, he received an award from the Illinois Woman's Press Association for his coverage of the People's Climate March in New York. As production manager, he is also responsible for the daily assembly of the PW home page.

He grew up in Garfield, New Jersey. He likes cats, wine, good books, music, and nature - especially long hikes in the woods. He currently lives in Chicago. He writes a blog that can be found at