The always-readable website Axios on Monday notes the shift in 'thinking' on climate change being forced by events upon Republicans:
If the world’s political and business leaders are going to seriously move to cut heat-trapping emissions, they first need to pay attention to it. They are starting to now, fueled by unrest from the world’s youth, cheaper renewable energy, more bouts of extreme weather and other evidence of global warming itself....In Washington, congressional Republicans and even President Trump are scrambling to acknowledge the problem after years of denying it — and in some cases mocking it outright.* GOP Senator Ron Johnson has a long record of science-based precision on the issue. And he points to more than sunspots being the cause of our warning climate. Consider this synthesis of world history, botany and chemistry:
You may remember that when Johnson attributed a changing climate to sunspots - - memorialized in this post with links to Johnson's comparison of environmental activists to followers of dictators and mass murders like Joseph Stalin - - he also showed off a deep understanding of botany, chemistry mobility and world history:
"Excess carbon dioxide in the atmosphere "gets sucked down by trees and helps the trees grow," said Johnson. Average Earth temperatures were relatively warm during the Middle Ages, Johnson said, and "it's not like there were tons of cars on the road."And give Johnson credit, again, for the consistency summed up in this 2016 PolitiFact analysis - -
Johnson said: "The climate hasn't warmed in quite a few years. That is proven scientifically."
He argues that temperatures rose sharply from the 1950s to the 1990s, then leveled off, but it’s wrong to say there hasn’t been warming in many years. In fact, 15 of the 16 warmest years on record have occurred since 2001, with the two highest years being 2014 and 2015.
We rate Johnson’s statement False.and in his more recent, bold clarity:
And while young people in Wisconsin and worldwide were demanding climate change action - - and as I noted earlier today - - Wisconsin GOP Senator and Oshkosh plastics magnate Ron "Sunspots" Johnson had a few words of encouragement for people fearing or already experiencing climate change in, say Houston or the Florida Keys:
* Given that people are telling media that a warming, wetter climate is making it impossible to live in Texas and Florida, Johnson may want to rephrase this glib talking point:
However, elected officials such as Sen. Ron Johnson question climate change fears.
"The world isn't going to end in a dozen years," Johnson said. "I'm not an alarmist. I would much rather spend our dollars adapting to something that I don't think we can prevent anyway....what can you really do about it?"
Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson Downplays Climate Change
Says ‘mankind has actually flourished in warmer temperatures’
“How many people are moving up toward the Antarctica, or the Arctic?” he asked. “Most people move down to Texas and Florida, where it’s a little bit warmer.”* And speaking of climate clarity born of confidence, look no farther than the big-picture words and action plan discussed earlier in January, 2020 by Wisconsin GOP Assembly Leader Robin Vos: