Romney Mocks Trying To Address Global Warming

I wasn’t interested in the GOP convention this year, and I don’t expect to be interested in the Democratic convention. It’s not like I’m sweating who to vote for; of the two viable candidates, Obama, despite horrible flaws, is the overwhelmingly better choice for someone with my policy preferences.1

I assume Republicans feel the same way about Romney.

I’m growing anxious about the upcoming election. I sometimes read poll reports and analysis, but I stopped myself today when I realized that I was looking for reassurance, not information.

So I’m trying to minimize how much attention I pay to the conventions. But despite myself, I heard Romney’s big line making fun of global warming, and was appalled:

President Obama promised to slow the rise of the oceans and to heal the planet. My promise is to help you and your family.

This seems horribly irresponsible for someone who has a good shot of being the next President. Addressing global warming and helping ordinary families are not mutually exclusive goals; furthermore, if nothing is done to slow down global warming, it will be ordinary families, not super-elites like the Romneys, who will suffer for it. (Who already are suffering for it).

Some right-wingers are defending Romney’s comment by saying that Romney wasn’t mocking global warming, but Obama’s hubris.

That’s not a significantly better position. In the speech Romney was mocking, Obama said that if Americans work and fight for it, we could begin to slow the rise of the oceans. How is that hubristic? It seems like an accurate statement of what most people in the non-science-denying party believe – that good policy can slow down global warming.

I don’t want a President who believes that the idea of trying to address global warming is hubristic and ridiculous.

For Republicans, I honestly don’t think thought enters the matter at all. There is no intelligent case to be made that global warming is a myth; nor is there any intelligent case for inaction.

What there is, instead, is partisan fear. Republicans believe that if they admit the obvious – that global warming is a real problem that urgently needs to be addressed — “liberal fascists” will immediately wipe out technology (even the internet) and eventually wipe out humanity altogether.

If that were all true, I suppose it would make sense to deny global warming, or at least oppose doing anything about it.

It’s not true, of course. Liberals like urban living, not caves; liberals like the internet and heated homes and all the other comforts of modern living. A serious fight against global warming doesn’t require a return to the stone age. And, obviously, liberals are humans, and thus see no profit in wiping out humanity.

The problem is, among Republicans, an ridiculous and irresponsible position on global warming has become a mark of tribal identity. An intelligent position, in contrast, would be a sign of disloyalty to the party. They are committed to doing nothing as a matter of partisan fealty, and there is no position harder to change than a partisan position.

  1. It’s very likely that my vote will be entirely irrelevant – I live in Oregon, after all — in which case I might vote for a third party. []
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4 Responses to Romney Mocks Trying To Address Global Warming

  1. 1
    Copyleft says:

    Denial and mockery of science is a key campaigning tactic for appealing to the Republican ‘base.’ Romney’s campaign manager knows his/her stuff.

  2. 2
    Kai Jones says:

    There is no intelligent case to be made that global warming is a myth; nor is there any intelligent case for inaction.

    That’s the “no true Scotsman” fallacy right there.

  3. 3
    Jake Squid says:

    That is nothing even remotely related to the No True Scotsman fallacy there.

    Please feel free to try to inform us of the fallacy you’re thinking of, though.

  4. 4
    Drashizu says:

    That third link is rather frightening to me. Calling environmentalism anti-human is like calling speed limits anti-human. The entire purpose of restraining ourselves now is to prevent catastrophes in the future, to preserve the human species, and a whole lot of other species, besides. We’re really going to be in trouble later if we don’t manage our use of technology now; at the very best we’ll have weather that threatens the lives of millions of people, and at worst, resource exhaustion that threatens the lives of everyone on the planet. That will really make modern civilization impossible (Internet included).

    I mean, I sound like Doomsday Dan, and I don’t think this is going to happen because I think enough people will be smart enough soon enough that we can avert the worst-case scenario, but the long-term consequences of barreling full-steam ahead with our carbon-emitting ways is not something to be brushed off lightly.

    Maybe a more apt comparison would be calling speed limits anti-human, when you can see the head-on collision you’re heading for, you’re too close to slam on the brakes, and you only have a few more seconds to swerve out of the way.