The Sciences

How Partisan is Climate Denial?

The IntersectionBy Chris MooneyDec 1, 2010 8:18 PM

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I wasn't done with Sherwood Boehlert's recent, sad Washington Post oped yet. I just did a much more comprehensive take over at DeSmogBlog, where I'm going to be contributing more frequently--explaining why Boehlert is wrong about the Reagan administration's environmental science record, and how this error partly underscores how overwhelmingly partisan the climate debate now is:

Poor Sherry Boehlert. On the one hand, his example proves that Republicans today canstill support mainstream climate science. The issue will never be 100 percent partisan until there isn't a single Republican who cuts against the grain, and with old school moderates like Boehlert around, that will never happen. Nevertheless, the issue is overwhelmingly partisan, as we can see both from the composition of Congress, and also from polling data showing that political party affiliation is a leading predictor of a person’s views on global warming in the U.S. Furthermore, we are where we are today because of a long history in which the U.S. Republican Party has drifted farther and farther away from the scientific community. That history starts with the party’s icon, Ronald Reagan, and proceeds through many other party leaders up to the present. So just how partisan is global warming denialism? At this point, the answer is: very. And how much does that have to do with our failure to address the problem? A lot.

You can read the full length DeSmogBlog piece here.

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