For two years the American political landscape has been rocked by a movement that has turned the GOP into a Frankenstein and set back rational debate on climate change. I submit that the Tea Party's power to shape politics and climate policy has now crested. Consider two seemingly unrelated events that happened yesterday. One of them, a source of unnecessary anguish for some (but really a clever chess move move by Democrats), was written up in The Hill:
The House rejected a Democratic amendment Wednesday that would have put the chamber on record backing the widely held scientific view that global warming is occurring and humans are a major cause.
Others are also inclined to interpret this event as a dark day for humanity. But I see it as the moment the Tea party tinged opposition to climate science spiked. That's because it came on the same day that Glenn Beck announced his departure from Fox News. This observation in the Guardiancaptures why I think the phenomena of the Tea Party as a political force will be short-lived (my emphasis):
The show's peak of popularity coincided with the rise of the Tea Party, and his trademark blend of paranoia and conspiracy attracting a wide following "“ and an equally wide circle of criticism, thanks to often bizarre statements.
Will the Tea Party's influence on the climate debate be a passing phenomenon, like Glenn Beck? I think we'll know the answer to that on November 6, 2012.