Hmmm, I wonder who Krugman could have in mind when he makes this argument?
Why, then, are so many people on the right determined to block climate action, and even trying to sabotage the progress we’ve been making on new energy sources?
Don’t tell me that they’re honestly worried about the inherent uncertainty of climate projections. All long-term policy choices must be made in the face of an uncertain future (duh); there’s as much scientific consensus here as you’re ever likely to see on any issue. And in this case, uncertainty arguably strengthens the case for action, because the costs of getting it wrong are asymmetric: Do too much, and we’ve wasted some money; do too little, and we’ve doomed civilization.
Don’t tell me that it’s about coal miners. Anyone who really cared about those miners would be crusading to protect their health, disability and pension benefits, and trying to provide alternative employment opportunities — not pretending that environmental irresponsibility will somehow bring back jobs lost to strip mining and mountaintop removal.
While it isn’t about coal jobs, right-wing anti-environmentalism is in part about protecting the profits of the coal industry, which in 2016 gave 97 percent of its political contributions to Republicans.
As I said, however, these days the fight against climate action is largely driven by sheer spite.
I won’t tell you who it is — let’s call him or her “Bret S.” No, wait, that’s too obvious — call him or her “B. Stephens.”
Alas, I’m afraid another round of subtweeting is going to be necessary soon:
The Republican Party’s fast journey from debating how to combat human-caused climate change to arguing that it does not exist is a story of big political money, Democratic hubris in the Obama years and a partisan chasm that grew over nine years like a crack in the Antarctic shelf, favoring extreme positions and uncompromising rhetoric over cooperation and conciliation.
Yes, if only Obama had used his One Unspecified Magic Trick that would have caused Republicans to maintain their Totally Sincere Commitment to combating climate change. Also, Republicans totally have always favored the Affordable Care Act, and that their offer to the uninsured whenever they’re in power or are casting a meaningful vote is always “nothing” or “worse than nothing” is just playing a verrrrrry long game.