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Republican Dissension on Climate Change

Collide-a-ScapeBy Keith KloorDecember 5, 2011 12:02 PM


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And extreme discomfort with the issue, judging by this story:

In an effort to survey Republicans on climate change, National Journal reporters reached out to every GOP senator and representative. Over the course of several weeks, reporters either attempted to interview lawmakers in person, or called or e-mailed their offices.

Most of them "rebuffed repeated inquiries," according to the piece:

Some flatly refused to answer questions when approached in person, and their offices declined to respond to repeated phone calls and e-mail requests. "It's not a conversation senators feel comfortable having," a Republican staffer said. Several aides initially said that their bosses would be happy to take part in interviews or answer written questions"”only to follow up later with clipped refusals.

Meanwhile, there's this nugget, which suggests the Tea Party stranglehold is loosening, just a little:

Despite the rhetoric on the campaign trail, a quiet but significant number of prominent Republican politicians and strategists accept the science of climate change and fear that rejecting it could not only tar the party as "antiscience" but also drive away the independent voters who are key to winning general elections. "There's a pretty good-sized chunk of the Republican caucus that believes that global warming is happening, and it's caused at least in part by mankind," said Mike McKenna, a strategist with close ties to the GOP's leadership. "You can tell these guys are uncomfortable when you start to talk about science."

Would that be science in general, or just climate science? Anyway:

Here are the questions NJ asked the Republican members of Congress: Do you think climate change is causing the Earth to become warmer? How much, if any, of global climate change do you think is attributable to human activity? What is the government's most appropriate response to the issue of climate change? In the end, 65 GOP lawmakers"”40 House members and 25 senators across the ideological spectrum agreed to respond.

So what do numbers like that tell you?

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