Tags: Climate Change | Dana Milbank | deniers | alarmists

Dana Milbank: Climate Change Deniers In Retreat

By    |   Tuesday, 07 Apr 2015 12:59 PM

Liberal columnist Dana Milbank contends that those who don't believe in man-made global warming are fleeing their positions.

"What began as a subtle shift away from the claim that man-made global warming is not a threat to the planet has lately turned into a stampede," Milbank wrote in an opinion piece for The Washington Post.

The liberal columnist cites a report from the Post about the conservative American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), which has begun threatening groups who say it denies mainstream climate change science with lawsuits.

ALEC suffered the loss of support from Google and other corporate members over its global warming stance and has since told the groups Common Cause and the League of Conservation Voters to "remove all false or misleading material" that may lead someone to think that ALEC does not agree with climate change theory.

However, Milbank says that "the problem for ALEC is that as recently as 2013, it was still reaffirming 'model legislation' calling on states to consider 'legitimate and scientifically defensible alternative hypotheses' to the 'mainstream scientific positions' on climate."

A similar "about-face" has also reportedly occurred at the Heartland Institute, he says, which is a libertarian group whose mission is "promoting skepticism about man-made climate change."

Justin Haskins, an editor for the group wrote in a column for Human Events in December 2014 that "the real debate is not whether man is, in some way, contributing to climate change; it's true that the science is settled on that point in favor of the alarmists."

"It's a rather extreme position to say that we ought to allow dangerous pollutants to destroy the only planet we know of that can completely sustain human life," Haskins wrote.

However, he concluded by saying while climate change ought to be "a real concern. . . . it's simply untrue that the world is on the precipice of disaster and does not have enough time to determine exactly how much influence humanity has on global temperature and develop technologies that can reduce CO2 emissions without destroying whole economies."

Nonetheless, Milbank called Haskins' statements "a tactical retreat," adding that liberals "shouldn't expect conservative groups to start lining up in favor of a carbon tax."

That being said, he contends that it's a sign that conservative groups do seem to be "resorting to more defensible arguments that don't make them sound like flat-earthers."

Milbank also cites Republican lawmakers who oppose strict climate measures, but are taking more an agnostic position on the issue, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, House Speaker John Boehner, and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio.
However, no one should expect some Republican lawmakers, such as Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and Senate Environment Committee Chairman Jim Inhofe, to change their anti-global warming alarmist positions, he adds.

The ALEC story is a reminder, he concludes, that "for politicians and climate-denial groups, the elixir of life is money. Now that corporations are becoming reluctant to bankroll crazy theories, the surrender of climate change deniers will follow."

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Liberal columnist Dana Milbank contends that those who don't believe in man-made global warming are fleeing their positions.
Dana Milbank, deniers, alarmists
Tuesday, 07 Apr 2015 12:59 PM
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