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Washington, DC – For the GOP leadership, the issue of climate change has become a perpetual headache. Although many conservatives have publicly stated climate change is a hoax, or, at best, it is not directly caused by human activity; the unfortunate truth is that a large percentage of US voters do believe in climate change. In politics, fact, science, and reason are irrelevant if the perception is real (as we have seen democratic leaders promote calls to remove Mount Rushmore and topple monuments of George Washington because of “white supremacy.“
The liberal mob does not care if the science of climate change is real or not as long as it pushes a narrative that will ultimately result in removing President Trump from office. So how does the GOP plan to deal with the public perception of climate change?
Back in February, the GOP leadership introduced legislation specific to climate change. To date, the GOP plan has not progressed out of committee. Since the GOP no longer controls the lower chamber, it is unlikely the House will pass any reasonably conservative legislation on climate. Although Sen. McConnell has publicly acknowledged human contributions to climate change, the Senate has not yet to take up climate legislation.
Congress’ inaction on climate stands in contrast to a growing appetite within the GOP voter-base for addressing climate issues. Pew Research Center has recently published research stating 2/3 of American’s believe the federal government is not doing enough to combat climate change. Josh Siegel of the Washington Examiner published an article last month that analyzes the Pew data to show strong support among voters who identify as Republicans to enact common-sense measures that are beneficial to the climate. Among those measures were: planting 1 trillion trees worldwide, giving tax breaks to corporations that are carbon-neutral, and leading on innovation to reduce auto emissions.
With the above measures and other common-sense reforms, the GOP can siphon swing voters on the issue of climate change without embracing a loony socialist agenda. If Joe Biden is to win the Presidency this November, then he will enact a “Clean Energy Revolution” highlighted by the Green New Deal that will cripple the US economy and facilitate government overreach into private business at levels never seen on this continent. Conservatives cannot allow this to happen.
The GOP could champion alternative and reasonably conservative ideas, such as: leading research in deep-ocean exploration (which often leads to pharmaceutical breakthroughs), researching GMO plants that are more efficient at storing carbon, and improving the efficiency of solar and hydrodynamic energy. Any of these measures can be undertaken without embracing a Lenin-esque socialist revolution. Additionally, any of these measures would also add create jobs for people out of work because of the pandemic.
Especially interesting for the GOP are opportunities for private-public partnerships that could lead to climate issues. Since the outset of the COVID-19 outbreak, the administration has partnered with private businesses to produce face masks, ventilators, and other medical supplies needed to curb the pandemic. Although some of Trump’s actions violate the NAP, we can agree that his methods are effective.
If we apply the same perception of urgency to climate change, and do so in a way that allows business and industry leaders to lead from the ground up, then we may see Democrats lose their most persuasive case for voting against the President. The GOP can lead this change by providing irresistible and staggered tax-breaks to any large “clean” company in the US.
Most conservatives can also agree that the freedom and opportunity to hunt, fish, or otherwise enjoy the most beautiful nation on Earth, now and for generations to come, needs to be conserved. Those familiar with the hunting and outfitting industry can attest that land available for recreational use, even for purposes other than hunting, is rapidly diminishing due to commercial development, over-crowding, and also in part to climate change (certain species have become extinct, animal herds have migrated, or eco-systems have become unbalanced).
So, there is an opportunity now for the GOP to move past debates on whether climate change is real, or if the data is legitimate, and focus on issues that concern its base. By partnering with the hunters, fishers, trappers, and farmers who have a vested interest in land conservation, the GOP can address the legitimate concerns of its base and simultaneously eliminate the leftist talking point that the GOP is full of science-deniers.
Winning an election boils down to voter turn-out, and the GOP is in position to stir-up more interest from inactive voters, or even swing voters, if the leadership would firmly acknowledge the overwhelming public perception that climate change is real. By propagating the climate change “hoax” narrative – right or wrong – the GOP is fighting a losing battle because the public now believes it is real.
It is time for the GOP to take control of the left’s favorite talking point and turn it into actionable items that will support its base and change the public’s opinion on its handling of the matter. Wise leaders will recognize that climate change is not a hill on which to die, but rather it is another opportunity to prove that a conservative government can find practical and realistic solutions to real-world problems.
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