US Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina became the ninth contender for the Republican presidential nomination earlier this month. He is a staunch conservative who tends to vote with his party on everything from gun control to health care and foreign policy. He is also the first Republican candidate to squarely address the question of climate change — in a constructive way. During an interview on the CNN news channel on 7 June, Graham highlighted the problem and issued a welcome challenge to his fellow Republicans.
“Here’s a question you need to ask everybody running as a Republican: what is the environmental policy of the Republican Party?” Graham said. “When I ask that question, I get a blank stare.”
Graham could not be more correct. It has been clear for some time that climate change is a defining social, and therefore political, issue for the twenty-first century. Questions remain about what kind of impacts to expect and how best to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions, while extending the benefits of modern industry to the world’s poorest citizens. But the core science is solid, and policy-makers at all levels have a responsibility to engage with it. Sadly, the Republican Party’s strategy in Congress thus far has been to ignore or dodge the problem, or to deny it outright.
Source: The right climate