Environment

The Day After

Collide-a-ScapeBy Keith KloorNov 7, 2012 4:37 PM

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On twitter this morning, I wrote that U.S. Republicans and anti-GMO campaigners have one thing in common today: They both woke up big losers. Romney lost decisively (electorally, which is what counts), the national GOP team fared poorly, and California's proposition 37 (to label genetically modified foods) was roundly defeated. I predict that influential representative voices for Repubs and the anti-GMO camp will lash out in anger and look for scapegoats, rather than reflect on their own flawed philosophies that contributed to their thrashings. For Republicans, It'll be interesting to see if they recognize the path they are on. I suspect that it will take another big loss (in 2016) before they really get the message that their party is out of step with the country (and its changing demographics). As for the anti-GMO crowd, I fully expect them to double down on their losing hand. I'd be shocked if they didn't put all their chips on the Monsanto-hating, Frankenfood-will-poison-you strategy. What else have they got? And since I'm on the topic of post-election day implications, yes, the climate-concerned forces are quickly gearing up to take advantage of the Obama victory headwinds. The President will undoubtedly talk up climate change in a second term and Democrats will try to regain some of the political momentum on the issue, but it's not going to be easy sledding, as the Guardian's Damian Carrington explains here. And let's be real and acknowledge, as Slate's Willam Saletan lays out here, that Obama is basically a moderate Republican. I'm no Nate Silver, but I will confidently predict that Obama is not going to shut down the Keystone pipeline or curtail domestic oil and gas drilling. If he does either, I'll shave my head (which I want to do anyway) and post the picture on twitter. So you tell me: What is Obama going to do in a second term to address climate change? UPDATE: Andy Revkin has just put up a post called, "Obama's Next Steps on Energy & Climate." UPDATE: After a sufficient period of mourning, Republicans would be well advised to read and re-read this Thomas Friedman column. An excerpt:

The G.O.P. has lost two presidential elections in a row because it forced its candidate to run so far to the loony right to get through the primaries, dominated by its ultraconservative base, that he could not get close enough back to the center to carry the national election. It is not enough for Republicans to tell their Democratic colleagues in private "” as some do "” "I wish I could help you, but our base is crazy." They need to have their own reformation. The center-right has got to have it out with the far-right, or it is going to be a minority party for a long time.

UPDATE: David Biello of Scientific American has a piece up titled, "Climate Change Action and More Drilling Likely in Obama's Second Term."

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