Last time around, almost all the 2012 candidates had embarrassing flirtations with climate realism in their pasts. Just a few years prior, the common Republican position had been that 1) climate change is occurring, and 2) the best way to deal with it is not through heavy-handed government regulation, but by harnessing the power of free markets in a “cap and trade” system, which worked so well to reduce acid rain. Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, Tim Pawlenty, and John Huntsman had all previously endorsed cap and trade.
But the current crop of potential nominees have purer records when it comes to climate denialism.
His bottom line is that only “one of the potential contenders (Chris Christie) seems willing to say that human activity is a significant cause of climate change.” MacGillis tackles Rubio for declining to “speak out against something that is not only threatening a home-state industry but the actual state itself“:
This would seem like something the voters of Florida might want to take note of when they encounter Rubio on the ballot in 2016—whether for reelection as a senator or as a presidential candidate. It’s hard for elected officials in Washington to show their regard for their constituents in this post-earmark era of ours, but one of the minimal requirements would seem to be making even rhetorical feints toward worrying about the permanent flooding of said constituents’ largest cities.
Good luck with that. Rubio needs to get the Christianist vote, and I’m not sure they’d be too upset if Miami Beach sank beneath the waves. Brian Merchant highlights places likely to get flooded:
99.5 percent of the population of Louisiana, as if they haven’t suffered enough, will again find themselves underwater when the seas rise 10 feet. Thirty percent of all of the homes in Florida will be submerged; that’s 5.6 million people. [Fort] Lauderdale, for one, will be nearly below the waves. Only 9 percent of New York City will have to relocate in the face of rising tides, but then, that means 700,000 people will have to find new homes—twice as many as New Orleans.
Even if you don’t live at or near sea level in one of those vulnerable areas, the crisis the rise will bring will impact you too; it will either cost heady sums to shore up the flood-walls and prepare the dikes, or chaos and misfortune will reign when a disaster—a hurricane, for instance—hits. Either way, rising seas are a hugely destabilizing force.