Posted by: Barry Bickmore | October 3, 2011

Republicans Going Against the Tide

Here are some recent articles about Republicans who are trying to get the party to reverse course on climate change denial.

1. Retired Republicans Quietly Try to Shift GOP Climate-Change Focus, National Journal.

2. D. R. Tucker, Confessions of a Climate Change Convert, Frum Forum.

3. D. R. Tucker, Dawn of the Deniers.

The second piece by Tucker was especially hard-hitting.  Consider this bit:

However, I realize now that I was also wrong on this point. When it comes to epistemic closure, American progressives are rank amateurs compared to American conservatives. The negativity I received from the right for accepting climate science was unlike anything I have ever experienced—but I’m actually glad to have experienced it, since it forced me to confront some inconvenient political truths.

Looking back, my disputes with the left gave me the fortitude I needed to deal with the right’s aggressively enforced epistemic closure. The progressives who gave me grief for supporting President Clinton’s impeachment and John McCain’s White House bid gave me the best training possible to deal with a far more pernicious, and far more pervasive, form of ideological intolerance.

Being branded a “RINO” and a “warmist” by the close-minded conservative class was the wake-up call I needed. In a weird way, I want to thank the conservatives who condemned my conversion on climate change. They helped me realize that a “warmist” is merely someone who accepts scientific reality instead of denying it—and that a “RINO” is another word for a Republican with an IQ above room temperature.

Is this really where we want to go?  Making conservatives who respect science choose between voting for candidates who disagree with them about many fiscal and social issues, or voting for candidates who are incapable of dealing with reality?



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  2. Barry

    Forgive me for immediately moving away from the US political focus and to a general one (I’m a Brit).

    Tucker’s experience is of course universal, as everyone who has ever ‘debated’ with ‘sceptics’ knows.

    I was once a lukewarmer, but with gnawing doubts. Nevertheless, I adhered to my position because I was afraid. ‘Sceptics’ may simply be too frightened – as opposed to too stupid – to admit to the logical consequences of radiative physics.

    Let me say again, I have been guilty of this myself. Luckily for me, someone kindly pointed me at a useful resource at exactly the right moment. I own them an immense debt of gratitude.

  3. How about republicans in our backyard going “with the tide”. Appalling…

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