The liberal website Vox features a pessimistic article about the prospects of avoiding catastrophic global warming. The very end of the article, however, illustrates how the left’s partisanship is counterproductive to its climate goals.
The article, titled “What the optimists get wrong about Trump’s climate policies,” argues that President Obama did not move the needle far enough in terms of reducing carbon dioxide emissions. Although economic factors (such as the low price of natural gas relative to coal power) may solidify some of the carbon dioxide reductions, there is little hope for necessary additional steps, Vox argues.
Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.
Ironically, at the end of the article, Vox urges, “Democrats and Republicans could find common ground on energy programs that could pay off later.”
“The current Republican Party is overwhelmingly hostile toward efforts to fight global warming,” Vox asserts. “Most don’t even think it’s real. But there are nuances. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) has been working with key Republican senators like Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and even Jim Inhofe (R-OK) on policies to facilitate the development of a new generation of (hopefully) safer, cheaper, low-carbon nuclear reactors.”
Reading the paragraph at face value and without any knowledge of underlying politics, one would assume Democrats are championing emissions-free nuclear power, while a few Republicans – and “even” Jim Inhofe – are being pulled along. In reality, Republicans have long been advocating more nuclear power, while Democratic power brokers like Harry Reid have erected impenetrable barriers to more nuclear power generation.
Vox is correct that there are common-ground energy policies that will reduce carbon dioxide emissions while satisfying Republican criteria for energy affordability and reliability. Nuclear power is one of those energy sources. If Vox is truly more concerned about reducing carbon dioxide emissions than advancing the political prospects of the Democratic Party, it should aggressively criticize Democrats who are the primary obstacles to common-ground energy policies like nuclear power. As the Vox article implicitly and accidentally acknowledges, it is Democrats like Harry Reid and his progeny that are more consequential obstacles to reducing carbon dioxide emissions than “deniers” like Republican James Inhofe.
If Vox is sincere about reducing carbon dioxide emissions, it will start calling out Democrats who are part of the problem rather than the solution.