The Grand Old Party considers the denial of man made climate change a crucial part of their platform. To accept its existence would mean having to take steps to prevent it. And that means regulating fossil fuels. And that means incensing the fossil fuel industry. And that means sacrificing the hundreds of millions of dollars the fossil fuel industry pumps into political campaigns, not to mention all the personal investments by politicians in said fossil fuels.
But it’s getting harder and harder to explain away the adverse weather events occurring on an increasingly frequent basis. If not climate change, what could be causing such events? Why, gay marriage, of course!
The GOP at large has been denying climate change since 2009, when they first began accusing climate scientists of the “Climategate” conspiracy theory (which has been thoroughly and scrupulously debunked). Self-described libertarian and TeaPartier Warren Meyers runs an entire site devoted to climate change skepticism (www.climate-skeptics.com), though he admits in a 2007 essay that, having grown up in Houston, most of his family has worked in the oil industry at one time or another, including himself for three years, but states his bias goes no further than that.
More notable GOP climate deniers include former Senator and 2012 presidential candidate Rick Santorum, who refers to climate change as “junk science,” and the notorious U.S. Senator representing Oklahoma, Jim Inhofe, who insists that climate change is the second biggest hoax perpetrated on Americans (the first being the separation of Church and State). Even GOP presidential candidates Mitt Romney and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, both once on the side of thwarting man made global warming, ended up renouncing that position during their most recent campaign runs. These days, you could write a volume of books filled with GOP climate science denial.
And the GOP campaign against climate-change belief is working amongst their base. According to a March 2012 Gallup poll, only 36% of Republicans believe that global warming is mainly caused by human activities, compared to 65% of Democrats. And 67% of Republicans believe news of global warming is “exaggerated,” compared to 20% of Democrats. Right-wing media is doing their part as well (see “Fox And Forbes Resort To Gross Distortions To Soothe Growing Climate Anxiety”)
Unsurprisingly, the phrase “climate change” does not appear at all in the Republican Party Platform, except to disparage the current administration’s focus on it. And when the Platform speaks of the environment, it does so in terms of:
- “Development of new, state-of-the-art coal-fired plants that will be low-cost, environmentally responsible, and efficient”
- “Review of environmental laws that often thwart new energy exploration and production”
- “Limit injunctions by activist judges regarding environmental management”
- “Legislation to restore the authority of States in environmental protection”
- “Appointing public officials to federal agencies who will properly and correctly apply environmental laws and regulations, always in support of economic development, job creation, and American prosperity,”
- “The most powerful environmental policy is liberty.”
When reading this platform, it’s hard to think of anything but “drill, baby, drill!” – more fossil fuels, more money in the campaign chest, more dissuasion of the dangers of global warming – the cycle continues.
So it’s important for the GOP to convince voters that all these adverse weather events have nothing to do with climate change. But something must be causing them. Leave it to the American Family Association (AFA) to find the “real” culprit.
The AFA is a non-profit organization that claims it has over 2.2 million supporters with a primary goal to promote conservative fundamentalist Christian values. However, the group spends most of its efforts rallying against “the gay agenda” and shilling for the GOP amongst the more extreme and gullible nut jobs in the party (they’re currently fighting for pro-gun rights). Unsurprisingly, the AFA is strongly against regulating fossil fuels, calling it a “power-grab by President Obama and the EPA.” And at their Website, they offer a nice little gem of a video in their home school resources section titled “Global Warming: A Scientific and Biblical Exposé of Climate Change,” describing it as a “politically incorrect” documentary where children can learn how to be “effective in caring for creation without becoming an unwitting accomplice to the myths of global warming.”
Last week, Scott Lively, former state director for the AFA California branch, and ardent anti-gay activist (currently being sued for human rights violations that include inciting persecution and violence against gays in Uganda), gave an interview to AFA’s Sandy Rios on the AFA Channel. In that interview (the last 10 minutes, if you don’t want to suffer through the excruciating show’s hour-long entirety), Lively said:
“We need to remember that in the time leading up to the Flood what the rabbis teach about the last straw for God before He brought the Flood was when they started writing wedding songs to homosexual marriage….”
For the life of me, I can’t recall that particular passage in the Hebrew Bible. Lively continues:
“There’s never been a time in the history of the world since before the Flood when homosexual marriage has been open and celebrated, and that’s another sign that I believe that we’re close to the end.”
Also last week, AFA Director of Issues Analysis, the notoriously extremist Bryan Fisher, on his video blog, Focal Point, stated:
“We had Katrina 2005, we had Sandy this past fall – all of these things are designed by God. He allows these things to happen because he has a purpose for them, and that is to draw the heart of this people back to God. So don’t think that God is not at work when a natural disaster occurs. He’s got a plan and a purpose, and he’s able to turn that event, as tragic as it is, into something that is good for a nation.”
I’m having a bit of trouble discovering the goodness. He continues:
“God knows when a nation needs a corrective influence. … There would be times when our kids were young and you knew that they were just cruising for a spanking – cruising for a bruising, although we didn’t bruise our kids, just using it because it rhymes. But you just knew that they had an attitude, and they hadn’t done anything yet that was going to require an actual spanking. They were right on the edge, they were skirting the edge, and we were very, very careful in our household – we didn’t spank unless it was a willful violation of a known and understood rule of conduct, and before we’d ever spank one, when they were small, we’d make sure they could verbalize to us exactly why they were getting spanked, so that they would know. Well God sees a nation in the same way. He sees that a nation can be right on the edge of making decisions that are going to be fatal to that nation, and he says, ‘Look, the time has come when I need to spank them. I need to get their attention. I need to humble them under my mighty hand,’ and that is the purpose of a natural disaster.”
So their case is quite clear – natural disasters have nothing to do with manmade global warming – they’re nothing more or less than God’s corrective action – a spanking, if you will – for our nation’s sinful ways. Therefore we must continue to drill, baby, drill without fear, while driving the homosexuals to repentance, and above all, we must prevent them from enjoying the same marital privileges bestowed to the heterosexuals. Apparently, the very existence of the human race depends on it.
By the way, this past November, Fischer said on his Focal Point show that we’re insulting God “when he’s given us these gifts of abundant and inexpensive and effective fuel sources…and we don’t use it.”
What could be more perfect for the extreme right faction of the GOP than taking two of its talking points – gay marriage and climate denial – and wrapping them up together into a nice, neat little package? The only thing that could perhaps make it better would be to somehow throw guns into the mix.