Isaac delays GOP Convention: nature's revenge on climate change deniers?
Tropical Storm Isaac forced the cancellation of the opening day of festivities for the U.S. Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida. Given the GOP leadership's denial of climate change, the timing of the storm (now expected to become a category 2 hurricane) was deeply ironic.
Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan has long held a dismisssive stance on climate change. He argued in a 2009 op-ed that the debate was still out on global warming (especially since it was snowing in his home state of Wisconsin), and accused climatologists of using "statistical tricks to distort their findings and intentionally mislead the public".
Presidential candidate Mitt Romney, meanwhile, has reversed his previous stance on global warming, saying he's really not sure if human activity is to blame, and that "the idea of spending trillions and trillions of dollars to try to reduce CO2 emissions is not the right course for [Americans]."
Romney's flip-flop on climate change is convenient, since his Energy Independence plan -- which Time magazine writer Bryan Walsh criticized as "half-baked" -- relies on oil and gas imports from Mexico and Canada. Canadian oil, of course, refers to the carbon emissions-heavy bitumen from Alberta's oil sands, the ongoing development of which would signal "game over" for the planet according to NASA climatologist James Hansen.
Their stance on climate change is hardly an exception within the GOP: Ron Paul, Michele Bachmann, Rick Perry and others in the Republican presidential primaries all challenged the validity of global warming.
"Skepticism toward anthropogenic global warming is part and parcel of Republicans' DNA, expected of its politicians and grafted onto its voters by the right-wing media machine, including Fox News," lamented University of Georgia professor Cynthia Taylor in the Wisconsin State Journal.
"Recently I watched in disbelief as a young, well-respected GOPer whom I know insisted on a cable news show that climate change is a hoax intended to "make Al Gore rich."
The recent storm in Florida might be Mother Nature's unsubtle way of telling the Republicans that climate change is no joke, and about to get a lot more serious.