With reality denial dominating the Republican Party platform, how will Republican National Convention delegates reconcile that the start of their 2012 gathering in Tampa was delayed by climate-fueled extreme weather?
First, let's be clear: It's Big Oil-funded GOP leadership that's the problem, not rank-and-file Republicans. While virtually every Republican member of Congress and national party leader rejects climate science, 43% of rank-and-file Republicans see "solid evidence of global warming" according to the Pew Research Center.
Dig a little deeper and those numbers should be even more eye-catching for GOP leadership.
At a time when global warming & extreme weather are dominating the headlines, Republican Party leadership is increasingly step with the American mainstream:
Isaac bears down on the Gulf Coast. The Republican Party was forced to cancel the convention's first day in Tampa as Isaac sent tropical storm warnings up along the Gulf Coast. Isaac is now forecast to make landfall as a hurricane near New Orleans late Tuesday. Global warming is making storms more intense by adding the fuel of warmer air & water to their fire, while rising sea levels raise the launching pad for storm surges.
America's sweltering summer. This year has been the hottest on record in the United States, with July 2012 going into the record books as America's hottest month ever. Globally, 2012 has been the 10th-hottest on record, nearly 1 degree F above the 20th-century average. That it's only 10th speaks to how much & how quickly our climate is changing - up until 1998, 2012 would've been the hottest year on record.
From a strictly political perspective, here's the real problem for Republicans: Advocating inaction isn't just stupid, it makes Republicans look weak. Reasonable people can disagree on the best way to respond to climate change, but who gets excited about a candidate who denies we have a problem and bad mouths America's ability to solve it? Mitt Romney's clean energy opposition is already costing him votes in farm states that have seen the economic windfall that harvesting clean energy can bring.
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