Voting Against Their Interests: GOP & Climate Change

Voting Against Their Interests: GOP & Climate Change October 28, 2015

This is the first of a series of articles about how Republicans convince its base to vote against their own interests.

Manmade climate change is real and 97% of all scientists accept it as fact.[1] The effect of climate change is causing severe damage to the Earth’s environment and is increasingly making it less habitable to life.

climate_changeNumerous scientific studies have documented the alarming damage from climate change. For example, the number of wild animals on Earth has been reduced by 50% in the past 40 years, primarily due to destruction of animal habitats and global climate change.[2] Since we are not scientists, we should listen to the overwhelming view of the scientific community on climate change.

A study by the United States Department of Defense states that the impact from climate change is one of our greatest strategic threats. Overwhelming scientific evidence leads to the conclusion that climate change creates the eminent threat of rising sea levels and massive changes in the climate of the Earth that will affect all of Earth’s inhabitants. [3]

The fact is that if the Earth is unable to sustain human or animal life, all other issues pale by comparison. This “pale blue dot”[4] upon which we live is our only home in the universe. The conclusion is that climate change is the most important issue that faces the human race.

A recent Pew Research Center poll found that 78 percent of Democrats, but only 24 percent of Republicans, believe that climate change is primarily man-made.[5] Many Republican politicians have proclaimed the manmade climate change problem as “a total fraud”[6], “the greatest hoax that has been perpetrated”[7] and “junk science”[8], to name just a few. Why is climate change in this country being ignored?

It is amazing that stories on weather on the evening news nearly every night are clearly reflective of the effects of climate change, yet there is rarely any mention of a linkage between our increasingly bizarre weather and climate change. There are Republicans of great wealth who use media misinformation to cause uncertainty or outright denial of the scientific facts relating to climate change. This group has a vested interest in delaying climate action because they continue to make billions from fossil fuels and planet deforestation.

For example, Charles and David Koch have contributed $79 million to think tanks such as the Heartland Institute, which denies climate change. This is the same group  paid to deny that smoking causes cancer. This group still argues for “smoker’s rights” and talks about the need for “sound science” on tobacco issues, while at the same time arguing that global climate change is not real science.

Their paid “experts” are frequent guests on the Republican media of choice: Fox News, Christian networks and right wing radio stations. Thus, it is no coincidence that many members of conservative Christian churches and their Pastors receive and disseminate anti-climate change views to their fellow congregants, who are overwhelmingly Republican.[9]

Genesis 1:28 states that God made mankind a steward to protect the Earth and its creatures that he created. Pope Francis, in his Encyclical on Climate Change, references Job 12: 7-10, Psalm 24:1 and Isaiah 24:5, among others, to support this proposition in an attempt to persuade Christians that protecting the Earth is their spiritual duty.

Republicans have as much of an interest in protecting Earth’s creatures and environment as do all Americans. Several prominent Pastors, such as Rick Warren of Saddleback Church (the largest church by membership in the US) and Pope Francis, the leader of more than one billion Catholics, have begun to teach us that climate change should not be a partisan issue. It is our God ordained duty to preserve the Earth and its creatures.

The Republican Party platform of climate change denial is just one of the reasons that when Christians vote Republican, they vote against their own interests and biblical teachings.





6 Huffington Post, 8/12/13

7 Think Progress, 8/8/13

8 College of DuPage Courier, 10/20/06


Terry Frye is an attorney, an elected constitutional officer, a minister, a writer, a longtime community organizer and a political activist who has lived his entire life in rural Southern Appalachia. 













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