It’s the Politics, Stupid (Extra!)

I have an article in the February issue of Extra! on how the U.S. news media largely ignored Republicans’ climate-change-denial rhetoric in the runup to last November’s elections, despite the fact that it could have huge consequences for the fate of the earth. It’s not online, sadly, but you can buy a copy for $4.95 at what we used to call “your local news-stand,” get an annual subscription for not much more, or wait a month or two and it should show up for free here. Here’s the intro:

Of all the issues at stake in the midterm congressional elections of 2010, the one that hung most in the balance may have been the fate of the world’s climate. It was clear from early in the election cycle that incoming Republicans were uniformly in agreement that no government action to control carbon emissions was desirable, or indeed necessary: Of Republican Senate candidates, “19 of the 20 who have taken a position say that global climate change is unproven or actually a hoax,” the National Journal’s Ron Brownstein told Christiane Amanpour (This Week, 9/26/10).

Several prominent GOP leaders had gone even further: Soon-to-be House speaker John Boehner declared that “the idea that carbon dioxide is a carcinogen, that it is harmful to our environment, is almost comical,” while Rep. John Shimkus, a contender for chair of the House Energy Committee, brushed off fears of climate disaster by citing the Bible’s promise that “as long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease” (New Yorker, 11/22/10)…