Here is a common interpretation of the Republicans position on climate change as of December 2018.
The REPUBLICAN ARGUMENT AGAINST GLOBAL WARMING
First off, I’m a Democrat. I think I have the current Republican position correct, but contact me to educate me if I missed something. I’ve heard from several of my Trump supporting friends, and they’ve indicated that I’ve nailed the Republican global warming position. My counter argument follows.
First, it’s a lie to say 97% of scientists believe in global warming. The terms climate change and global warming don’t even have specific meaning. It’s dumb to say scientists agree on something that’s not even defined well.
Secondly, it was cold yesterday so global warming does not exist. The 97% of climate change scientists that believe in global warming are wrong.
If global warming does exist, it’s not man-made. Again, the roughly 93% to 97% of climate change scientists that believe humans caused global warming are wrong.
Even if global warming is man-made the fact that rich “Learjet liberals” like Al Gore and Leonardo DiCaprio have a larger-than-average carbon footprint means they are hypocritical and therefore, let’s not talk about this subject until they have a low carbon footprint. For example, never listen to Al Gore because he uses vastly more electricity at his home than the average American so anything he says is just propaganda. Because hypocrites like Al Gore believe in global warming, we cannot discuss solutions. Anyone discussing climate change must FIRST live a carbon neutral lifestyle.
Also, never listen to Leonardo DiCaprio because he pretends like a child for a living and he is pretending to care about climate change so let’s discuss that rather than the issue. Leonardo once spent New Year’s Eve on a yacht, so, yeah, let’s discuss that.
Furthermore, why bother ever talking about it because Democratic ideas will hurt our economy. Rich people are asking poor people to sacrifice and that’s not right so let’s not fix the problem until we have better ideas.
Even if poor people will not be hurt directly, they will be hurt indirectly because other countries are not doing their fair share. For example, China has bad air pollution and they are not doing enough.
Besides, America has the best air and water quality by far. So, it’s not fair that we have to lead because we are already leading.
Finally, Republicans don’t have any ideas to fix global warming because global warming does not exist.
A Reply to the Republican Argument
The Republican argument against climate change is not a valid argument. The reasoning, including the use of many logical fallacies, is jarring. Let’s break it down.
97% of Climate Scientists Believe in Climate Change
Saying nearly all climate scientists do not agree that global warming exists and is caused by humans is just a lie. It’s just propaganda put forth in an attempt to give climate deniers something to grasp onto. Even in the Forbes article linked above the author admits “97 percent of climate scientists agree that there is a global warming trend and that human beings are the main cause”. The author waits until the last paragraph to mention this fact and then tries to dismiss it by saying “warming is a whopping 0.8 degrees over the past 150 years” which is a logical fallacy. Specifically, a red-herring, a distraction-not on topic. In essence, the author is saying, “Hey everyone, I just admitted this whole article is bullshit, but, hey, look over here!”
Weather is not Climate, But Climate Affects Weather
Weather reflects short-term conditions while climate is the average daily weather for an extended period of time in a given location. From a climate viewpoint, a once-in-500-year storm is supposed to happen in a given area on average once every 500 years. Meaning, if you have two within a few years, you shouldn’t get one for another 1,000 years on average. If you have 3, then 1,500 years should pass on average until the next one. The fact that in America we’ve had 26 once-in-500-year storms in the last 10 years indicates we’ve used up 13,000 years of storms. At some point you have to admit once-in-500-year storms are now twice-a-year storms. This one fact is an indicator the climate is changing. This is just one of the data points that have convinced 97% of climate scientists that climate change (global warming) is real.
Humans Contribute to Climate Change
We know through settled science that humanity’s impact on climate is real. We’ve known for about 120 years that humans burn carbon-based materials that emit carbon dioxide (CO2). We started collecting data on how much we burn about 50 years ago so we know how much CO2 we are adding to the atmosphere each year. We’ve been measuring the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere for about 70 years. We know it’s increasing and through science we know the extra CO2 is coming from burning fossil fuels. We’ve known CO2 absorbs heat for about 200 years. We’ve known for about 90 years that recent warming of the Earth is correlated to and follows rising CO2 emissions. Based on research that started 190 years ago, we’ve ruled out natural causes.
Hypocrisy of Learjet Liberals
The hypocrisy argument is invalid. Climate change advocates are not asking everyone to live a carbon-neutral lifestyle. They are asking governments, energy companies, and large corporations to decrease their carbon footprint and to promote a carbon-neutral footprint lifestyle. Advocates want them to increase their use of renewable energy so that individuals can continue to live their lifestyle as they please. Advocates are advocating for solutions so we can maintain our lifestyle. To say “Learjet Liberals” want poor people to sacrifice is a logical fallacy, specifically a straw man argument. No one is asking poor people to sacrifice.
Other Countries, like China, are Not Concerned
The argument that China is not doing their fair share is an interesting argument. This argument basically says we can’t do anything until they do something. That’s a very strange argument, but let’s take a look.
First, in June 2017 America became the ONLY country to withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement. When Syria joined the Paris Climate Agreement in Nov 2017, that left America as the only country in the world not to support the framework deal. America via Trump was the only country to refuse to sign a climate statement at the G20 Summit in Argentina in Dec 2018. Bottom line is that America is the only country that denies global warming and man-kinds role and the only country to refuse to participate in discussing solutions. That’s the truth.
Now, let’s take a look at China specifically. It’s true that China has bad pollution. In fact, it’s believed about 1 million people a year die early because of air pollution. It’s a real problem for them. But, unlike Trump’s administration, China’s administration understands global warming is real, and man-made. They have declared war on air pollution in China. They are currently reducing the production of steel and of coal-fired electricity. To replace coal, China is rolling out the world’s biggest investment in wind and solar power. China, not America, is leading in the development of alternate fuel sources.
America, Best Air and Water, By Far
The president of the U.S. must tell the truth. When the Trump administration claims that we have the best air and water by far, that’s simply a lie. Trump wants his followers to feel like they are already winning the clean air and water issue so they will back his no-action resistance approach.
The truth is that we are pretty darn good! But, we are not best, and we are not best by far. Essentially America is a top 12 country with 8 countries that have much better air and water than us, and several that are about the same as us.
There are various ways to measure clean air and water. Here are a few…
FactCheck.org American Polution
Trump repeats the lie that we have the best air and water so frequently that FactCheck.org fact checked the president indicating we are far from the best by any standard.
- Air=10th Best
- Water=29th Best
In 2016, America ranks 17th in air pollution in urban areas.
- Australia – average PM 2.5 concentration: 5.7
- Brunei – 6.6
- New Zealand – 6.8
- Estonia – 7.2
- Finland – 7.3
- Canada – 7.5
- Iceland – 8.2
- Sweden – 8.7
- Ireland – 8.8
- Liberia – 9.3
- Japan – 10
- Bhutan – 10
- Norway – 10.9
- Malta – 12
- Portugal – 12.3
- Spain – 12.4
- United States – 12.9
- Monaco – 13
- Malaysia – 13.2
- Luxembourg – 14
We Know the Numbers
Through settled science we know the numbers. We know 97% of climate scientist agree that humans are responsible for global warming. We know humanity is adding 70 million metric tons of CO2 to Earth’s atmosphere daily. We know there is 40% more carbon in the Earth’s atmosphere since the Industrial Revolution. Through computer models, humanity has dire predictions ahead. Even if you don’t believe this argument, shouldn’t we work to remove CO2 from the atmosphere and return Earth to its natural state? Shouldn’t we do this just in case 97% of climate scientists are correct?