6 thoughts on “Conservatism and Climate Science

  1. Ben

    This is a well-articulated response to the anti-science charge against conservatives. I think we are most concerned about allowing a ruling class to develop…one that assures the people that it has their collective best interests in mind and are smart enough to fully understand complexity, adequately foresee the future, and develop perfect policies that avoid unexpected consequences. Think “Communist Russia.” This is, indeed, hubris.

    Add to this a progressive call for worldwide solutions, yielding U.S. sovereignty to a deeply-flawed international body like the U.N., and one might understand a conservative’s hesitancy to heed the call of a temporary “consensus.” I suspect the cure would be significantly worse that the disease!

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  2. emerich

    Another important example of science denial on the left is insistence that males and females are identical other than certain external organs, and their denial that any human mental or behavioral traits might have a heritable component. A recent example: The University of Iowa’s President caused an uproar among her faculty in February by referring to “human nature” in a comment about sexual assault. She had to perform elaborate rites of apology to save herself and her job.

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  3. F

    This is a well written, intelligently argued piece. But it is inadequate, as Hayward suggests. The most obvious conservative solution is rejected: taxing harms like carbon is dismissed as a failed ploy to make essential fossil fuels artificially scarce. Other solutions are equally rejected: federal subsidies/R&D funding for renewables (which have made these technologies cheaper) are dismissed in a sentence when these are precisely the tools that were used to create the praised shale gas revolution. And the only solution that was advanced – adaptive resilience – is little more than a slogan. Even if it weren’t, it’s unclear how a policy approach grounded in adaptation can address the need to stop putting so much CO2 into the atmosphere.

    The conclusion has an air of ‘these are your problems, and if you want conservatives to buy into a solution for your problems you will have to make it a conservative solution. But we’re not going to be terribly helpful.’ Except, of course, climate change isn’t just a liberal/left problem. Drought, flooding, heat waves, polar vortexes, etc don’t care that you vote Republican.

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    1. Roger

      And political cronyism and totalitarian abuse aren’t simply problems of the right.

      This article explains the issues well. The right fears and distrusts the central planners more than they fear Mother Nature. If the choice is slightly warmer winter nights or state control over the economy, guess how Conservatives line up?

      If we really want to work together to address climate change, then it needs to be done on terms amenable to both sides.

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  4. Pingback: Steven Hayward: Conservatism and Climate Science | Climate Etc.

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