THE BLOG
03/02/2007 04:21 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Who Made Global Warming a Partisan Issue Again?

A right-wing news site called ... Right Wing News recently sent a poll to 240 "right-of center" bloggers. Sixty-three responded. There's much amusement to be had reading through the results, but let's focus on this:

4) Do you think mankind is the primary cause of global warming?

Yes (0) -- 0%

No (59) -- 100%

Kind of reminiscent of this :

Only 13 percent of congressional Republicans say they believe that human activity is causing global warming ...

Which is kind of reminiscent of this:

JONATHAN KARL: But what's your sense, where is the science on this? Is global warming a fact? And is it human activity that is causing global warming?

THE VICE PRESIDENT: Those are the two key questions. I think there's an emerging consensus that we do have global warming. You can look at the data on that, and I think clearly we're in a period of warming. Where there does not appear to be a consensus, where it begins to break down, is the extent to which that's part of a normal cycle versus the extent to which it's caused by man, greenhouse gases, et cetera.

In case the implications are not obvious, let's spell it out:

  • Human beings are the primary cause of recent climate warming. That fact is no longer under any real debate by scientists: The recent IPCC report expressed 90-99% confidence in human culpability. That's a greater degree of certainty than you'll find in most areas of science, and far greater than you'll ever find in economics or foreign relations or sociology or any of the other fragile disciplines that inform decisions we make every day.
  • The Republican Party's leadership and its most active propagandists flatly deny reality. Black is white. Up is down. They insist on ignoring science for purely political reasons -- if the dirty hippies believe it, it must be wrong. This intransigence hamstrings the country's ability to respond to the greatest challenge of the century.

Democrats are often criticized for not "reaching out" to Republicans on climate change. We're told Democrats have made climate change a partisan issue. That they just won't listen to Republican voices on the subject.

Here's a thought: Maybe they're waiting for the the Republican Party to board the reality train.

(Incidentally, the bold among us might venture to argue that that an entire party denying settled scientific fact is a bigger story than Al Gore's electric bill. But why get crazy.)