The good old days, when the GOP respected science …

Oct.2015

I’m not by nature a nostalgic person, in large part because “the good old days” often weren’t that great. But I do confess to getting a bit wistful for those days of yore when the Republican Party was open to the findings of science, concerned about our responsibility to the future and determined that the United States would lead the way in addressing issues such as climate change.

And yes, children, such a time really did exist, as documented in memos released this week through the Freedom of Information Act that date back to the early days of the first Bush administration.

For example, one 1989 internal memo published by The Washington Post, noted that then-Secretary of State James Baker “has already signaled strong U.S. support for the (UN’s) recently organized IPCC process, including developing policy options for limiting emissions or adapting to climate change.”

“While it is clear that we need to know more about climate change, prudence dictates that we also begin to weigh impacts and possible responses. We simply cannot wait — the costs of inaction will be too high,” the memo warns. “…. the president is committed to U.S. leadership in addressing global warming…. we probably cannot afford to wait until all the uncertainties have been resolved.”

That was more than 25 years ago, and it is impossible to imagine such a document being produced under a President Rubio, Cruz or Trump.

The memo went on to propose various steps for addressing global warming, including energy efficiency, greater use of nuclear power and pushing the World Bank to consider climate change impacts in its development projects. It also urged that the topic be addressed at an international economic summit scheduled later that year in Paris.

A second Bush memo released this week calls climate change “the most far-reaching environmental issue of our times,” warning that “unless the United States is willing to reduce its own emissions, curb its own waste flows and improve the energy efficiency of its own economy, we will not be able to persuade other countries to do so.”

And according to a third Bush memo, “if climate change within the range of current predictions (1.5 to 4.5 degrees centigrade by the middle of the next century) actually occurs, the consequences for every nation and every aspect of human activity will be profound.”

In the quarter century since those memos were written, the climate has indeed continued to warm. The 10 warmest years on record have all occurred since 1998. Fourteen of the 15 warmest years on record have occurred this century. The last time we set an annual global record for cold was 1911. Last year, 2014, was the warmest on record, with every expectation that the record will be shattered in 2015.

And here’s what NOAA tells us about October of 2015, the most recent for which we have complete data:

“The combined average temperature over global land and ocean surfaces for October 2015 was the highest for October in the 136-year period of record, at 0.98°C (1.76°F) above the 20th century average of 14.0°C (57.1°F). This marked the sixth consecutive month a monthly global temperature record has been broken and was also the greatest departure from average for any month in the 1,630 months of recordkeeping, surpassing the previous record high departure set just last month by 0.13°F (0.07°C). The October temperature is currently increasing at an average rate of 0.06°C (0.11°F) per decade.”

It’s also important to point out how we happen to know all that. Back in 1978, a bipartisan group of House members sponsored legislation creating a “national climate program that will assist the nation and the world to understand and respond to natural and man-induced climate processes and their implications.” Again, that was 1978, approaching 40 years ago. Back then, members of Congress from both parties recognized it as an issue demanding exploration and they actually wanted to know the truth, rather than be told only those things that bolster their ideology.

So yes, I do miss those days, just as I miss springs that began in March, not the middle of February, and summer nights that cooled into the low 70s. But I guess none of those things will ever be coming back.

 

Reader Comments 0

388 comments
breckenridge
breckenridge

But the republican party has to get rid of the social agenda  or it is going to obsolete itself. "

You mean denounce Christianity? 

Oh please. The social conservative agenda doesn't have a fkn thing to do with Christianity.  It's all about bigotry and a bunch of d-bags trying to tell women how to lead their lives.  And women don't need your bullchit, they're perfectly capable of making their own informed decisions without your garbage.  Mind your own fkn business.

Aztec
Aztec

It is not a scientific certainty thast global warming exists.  The scientists that receive millions of dollars in research grants know what the government wants and are glad tom succumb to prospect of increase the gold in their pockets.  Politicians use this overblown threat to increase taxes and their own power by doling out millions to their political supporters.  I was born and raised at the beach in San Diego.  The ocean has not raised one centimeter nor increased one degree in temperature.   It is well known to all but a few brain dead that the government has been manipulating data to show results that are false.  The claims by the nut cases have been amazing.  Just a few days ago, our demented President in defending his sick policy actually said that fish were swimming in the streets of Miami.  I mean really folks!

NWGAL
NWGAL

You realize that scientists all over the globe have reached the same conclusions. This isn't simply an American observation.

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

 everything seems to be going to hell....

Not intended to be a factual statement.

Citizen-of-the-World
Citizen-of-the-World

Just read that Ted Cruz is going to convene a climate change hearing and the only experts he's invited are known climate change skeptics. He must have learned to be fair and balanced from Fox News.

fiftythreepercenter
fiftythreepercenter

"No, I don't wonder about that.

But the republican party has to get rid of the social agenda  or it is going to obsolete itself. "


You mean denounce Christianity?


Well, we got one libbie to own up to the agenda.  Anybody else want to fess up?

fiftythreepercenter
fiftythreepercenter

@Nick_Danger @fiftythreepercenter Nah, you guys only want the "turn the other cheek" Jesus and not the "go and sin no more" Jesus.  Your only use for Christianity is as a tool to justify taking from others for things you pretend to care about but aren't willing to fund with your own money.  


Your pool ain't got no deep end, nick....

Nick_Danger
Nick_Danger

@fiftythreepercenter @Nick_Danger 

Actually, I would venture to guess that most "libbies" would be thrilled if the Republicans platform changed their platform to conform with the teachings of Jesus.

Nick_Danger
Nick_Danger

@fiftythreepercenter @Nick_Danger 

LOL! 

I like the way you make up what we're saying, and respond to that. 

You could probably have both sides of the conversation in you head - no need for the blog at all!  LOL!

breckenridge
breckenridge

Millennials are not less religious just because they are young: They are less religious than Boomers and GenX’ers were at the same age. Millennials are the least religious generation in the last 6 decades. If we assume that Americans in the 1950s and earlier were just as religious as those in the 1970s, Millennials are the least religious generation in American history.

NWGAL
NWGAL

Studies done world wide suggest that children from non religious homes tend to be more generous and less judgmental than children from devout households, irrespective of the religion.

fiftythreepercenter
fiftythreepercenter

"Please don't project your thoughts onto me.  I have never been interested in "looking down my nose at people. . ." 


""Most Americans today have become so anti-intellectual as to allow a single trigger word, such as "praying" to command a broad, sweeping generality ...."


The defense rests, your honor.... Unbelievable....

breckenridge
breckenridge

@fiftythreepercenter 

 Twice as many 12th graders and college students in the 2010s (vs. the 1970s) said they never attend religious services. 75% more 12th graders said that religion was “not important at all” in their lives. The figures in the paper show these large changes that accelerated just in the last few years -- things are changing, fast.

Paul42
Paul42

@fiftythreepercenter

One's a value judgment (you're familiar with those, right?) and the other's an analysis of a phenomenon.

Nick_Danger
Nick_Danger

@fiftythreepercenter @breckenridge 

Things have always been "going to hell, 53:

"The children now love luxury; they have bad manners, contempt for
authority; they show disrespect for elders and love chatter in place
of exercise. Children are now tyrants, not the servants of their
households. They no longer rise when elders enter the room. They
contradict their parents, chatter before company, gobble up dainties
at the table, cross their legs, and tyrannize their teachers
." - Plato

Nick_Danger
Nick_Danger

I liked it most when Johnny told us that those who believe in Islam are "predominately colored."  He explained that his made them more like Nazis.

Nick_Danger
Nick_Danger

@BuckeyeGa 

See below: 

"Nazism was a belief just like Islam.  Their race was German where Islam is predominately colored race members." 

In context, it was even better.

Paul42
Paul42

@Nick_Danger

As Robin would say "Holy Crap, Batman!"

I initially thought 'I didn't see it but I wouldn't be surprised."

But to see it confirmed.....  wow....

Kinda sad, though.  

Maybe I can find a Bible verse about old people repenting and becoming whole.

St Simons he-ne-ha
St Simons he-ne-ha

The only chance they have now is to try to defund the 2020 Census, or game it, or get it thrown out. 48 months , 340 days. 339 tomorrow. Tick, tick....

Kamchak
Kamchak

@JohnnyReb 

My theory is not far fetched.

Succinctly providing the proof forJay's article.

And there's your sign.

King_of_Kolob
King_of_Kolob

To all the Republican lemmings out there, please remember it was Frank Luntz who told Bush to stop saying Global Warming and say Climate change instead, because the focus groups liked that better. 

breckenridge
breckenridge

Tea Party Accomplishments To Date


1. Multiple votes to repeal Obamacare

2. Shut down of the federal government for a brief period

3. Benghazi hearings

4. Planned Parenthood hearings


Did I forget anything?

Philo_Farnsworth
Philo_Farnsworth

Over 900 new repub office holders across the fruited plain?

Paul42
Paul42

@breckenridge

Fast and Furious?

Rose Law Firm?

Blue dress?

Not giving up on imposing their extreme minority views on the country after they cannot win a majority to their cause through elections?

JohnnyReb
JohnnyReb

@breckenridge well, yes you did.

The Tea Party has been instrumental in the election of over 30 Republican governors, majorities in the House and Senate, and so many Republican wins at state, county and city levels that even Democrat Strategists have concluded it will take Dems decades, that with an "s," to overcome.

Philo_Farnsworth
Philo_Farnsworth

Thwarted, stalled much of Obama's radical euro-socialist agenda?

Numbers_R_Us
Numbers_R_Us

@Philo_Farnsworth Now's their chance to uphold their promises and repeal Obamacare and get rid of Medicaid and cut state and local taxes and get rid of regulations and make their states even more desirable to live in than Kansas or Louisiana.  Go for it.

Paul42
Paul42

@Philo_Farnsworth

That's what happens when you have an extremely committed, activist subgroup who has heavy turnout in offyear elections.

It is definitely NOT indicative of the views of the majority.

It's what happens when one group votes and another group doesn't.

But to put it off to representing a conversion of a majority of Americans is pretty facile.

Paul42
Paul42

@JohnnyReb @breckenridge

And Republican strategists think that could all be overcome in a single election because of Trump.

Well done!