Paul Waldman of the Washington Post writes that Republicans, with only a few exceptions, refuse to do anything about climate change.

The news gets worse, but they are determined to do nothing. CNN posted illustrations of what rising sea levels would do to the coastal cities in the not distant future, and the visualizations are terrifying.

Sure, Democrats are predominant in New York and California, but rising sea levels will also devastate Florida, Georgia, Texas, and the Carolinas.

Waldman says that as recently as 1994, Republicans cared about the environment. No more.

He wrote:

Back in 2008, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and former speaker Newt Gingrich recorded a television ad in which they acknowledged their bitter political differences, but made a shared commitment on one critical issue.

“We do agree,” said Gingrich, “our country must take action to address climate change.” He added: “If enough of us demand action from our leaders, we can spark the innovation we need.”

Let’s take a look at some of the latest major climate news:

Somehow, that new Republican understanding of the importance of addressing climate change never quite caught on. If anything, as the effects of climate change intensify, the GOP has become more committed to opposing any and all efforts to do something about it.


• The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration released a report showing that coastal sea levels will rise by an entire foot between now and 2050, “intensifying the threat of flooding and erosion to coastal communities across the country.”


• A new study shows that the ongoing drought in the western states has made this the driest period there in 1,200 years.


• The climate provisions in the Build Back Better bill are on ice, now that BBB has stalled amid lockstep Republican opposition. The Post reports that this has “frozen hundreds of billions of dollars in private capital” earmarked for climate projects across the country, which has “complicated America’s much-touted clean energy revolution.”


• Republicans are trying to block President Biden’s nomination of Sarah Bloom Raskin as chief banking regulator at the Federal Reserve. Why? Because she has advocated for the financial industry to do more to plan for the economic effects of climate change.


• Spurred by climate-denial organizations, Republican legislators at the state level are working to prevent officials from dealing with businesses that are moving to wean themselves from fossil fuels or otherwise taking climate change seriously.


• In Florida — where there is ample sunshine — Republicans in the legislature are working with the state’s largest utility to undermine net metering, the hugely popular system under which customers with solar panels send back surplus energy to the grid. Solar companies in Florida say if the bill passes, they’ll have to shut down and move to other states

.It wouldn’t be fair to portray the Republican Party as an absolute monolith on climate — a smattering of Republican officials here and there say they would like to do something on climate, even if their solutions always seem to include uninterrupted drilling and burning of fossil fuels.

And the Republican electorate has complicated views on the topic. Depending on how pollsters ask them, a majority of Republicans sometimes express concern about climate and support various ideas to reduce emissions. But by other measures, Republicans have actually grown less concerned about climate in recent years.


If that’s the case, it could be partly because the administration of Republican god-king Donald Trump was the most aggressively anti-environment in history. Or it could be because as you move down the funnel from vague popular notions to elite opinion and finally to policies the party supports, the closer you get to the apparent belief that conservative identity-signaling requires one to oppose doing anything at all to slow global warming.