It’s now official party dogma. There is no climate-change-

I was thinking of writing an essay on this yesterday after I read about this vote, but I see Andrew Leonard already wrote it, and it was published on-line at

Triumph of the flat-earth Republicans. Who cares what scientists believe? The House GOP is on the record, now and for all time: The earth isn’t warming. Salon Magazine. March 16, 2011

About The Author

Ralph Maughan

Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University. He was a Western Watersheds Project Board Member off and on for many years, and was also its President for several years. For a long time he produced Ralph Maughan's Wolf Report. He was a founder of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition. He and Jackie Johnson Maughan wrote three editions of "Hiking Idaho." He also wrote "Beyond the Tetons" and "Backpacking Wyoming's Teton and Washakie Wilderness." He created and is the administrator of The Wildlife News.

10 Responses to Triumph of the flat-earth Republicans

  1. JimT says:

    One consistent theme of these new dogmatic conservatives is a complete lack of caring about paying attention to facts of any issue, or feeling any kind of shame or embarrassment about it in their missives to the minions. Frankly, I think we on the left or the moderate left are struggling to find a consistent approach to battling this kind of deliberate ignorance. The planet suffers as a result.

    • jburnham says:

      Struggling is putting it lightly.

      It seems to me that climate change deniers fit into 3 categories, and there is very little we can do to influence #2 and #3.

      1. People who actually know that humans contribute to climate change but don’t care because they have a financial interest in the status quo, or object to the costs and potential hardships to doing something about it. Most of our Republican legislators probably fall into this category. Still they carry on the charade that “the jury’s still out” on climate change.

      2. People with very little scientific literacy, including ideologues who reflexively oppose anything that ‘whacko enviros’ or ‘socialist’ Democrats support. Some seem convinced that if they can discredit Al Gore, climate change must not be happening.

      3. Conspiracy nuts who really believe climate change is a ‘hoax’ or sinister liberal plot to take over our government. These are the same people that deny evolution, believe that vaccinations cause autism, that the government was involved in the 9/11 attacks, or that the president is a Kenyan Muslim. No amount of evidence will change their minds.

  2. william huard says:

    The hyprocrisy is stunning. The economy is still struggling and the Republicans are holding emergency sessions of congress to defund NPR. You can clearly see they don’t have a jobs plan, Bush created 1 million jobs in 8 years, they don’t believe it is the governments role. State Republican Governors are another story…….Slight overreach…..

    • Jon Way says:

      Yet they blame Obama for all of the economy woes…

      • william huard says:

        The scariest aspect of all of this is how even with the facts staring these conservatives in the face they still think they are right! Is it mental illness? The other night on Hannity the stooge Bachmann accused Anthony Weiner of fiction- this from a woman who has mangled factual information more than any other politician ever!

  3. Tom Page says:

    National politics is becoming increasingly irrelevant to conservation efforts. If these people want to look stupid in the history books, that’s their prerogative.

    Keep working locally, don’t get discouraged, and focus on the things that we can do to change our behavior. Most people who work outdoors or in industries where climate change is evident (water management, the ski industry, to name just two), know that it’s happening. These kinds of local officials/business people have the power to make decisions that will affect the future of the west – much more than some yahoo from Oklahoma who’s in the pocket of oil and gas.

    You don’t really think we’re going to leave any oil in the ground when it’s all said and done, do you? Better to be prepared for the worst.

    • Dude, the bagman says:

      “You don’t really think we’re going to leave any oil in the ground when it’s all said and done, do you?”

      Good point. Certainly not when they’re already going through the hassle of extracting it from tar sands. I imagine we’ll use it until the costs become impractical when compared to some hypothetical alternative. Of course, things could get pretty ugly when people really start to feel the squeeze.

      Still, it’s too bad that we aren’t subsidizing r&d into local-scale power generation like we’re subsidizing our oil infrastructure and the military forces necessary to protect our disproportionate access to it. I’d like to see a Manhattan Project style brainstorming session on homegrown energy production and storage. Better research funding could attract some brainpower away from creating complex banking shenanigans and toward something useful. I guess since wars aren’t fought over access to solar panels, the sense of urgency is lacking.

      We’re not going to quit using oil, but we can’t keep using it like we are. At the national level, we could at least ease the transition a little and use oil more efficiently.

    • JimT says:

      At the rate the planet is moving towards an ecological tipping point not seen in recorded human history, my bet is that we will leave some oil in the ground because we won’t be around to pump it…;*)

      Seriously, there needs to be some considered thought into new tactics and an overall approach to fight the new Sagebrush Radicals. I support individual battles, but fragmentation is always a danger and weakens the message and the effort. Relying on facts doesn’t seem to be effective in this climate…

  4. JEFF E says:
    they have been dying from day one IMO.
    but this should bring the deniers out in force as that is so much easier too do. all you have to do is sit on your ass and pontificate…..

  5. tetonhiker says:

    Amen J Burnham….Amen.
    It seems as if folks feel that if it does’nt affect their daily life, why worry. Their latest worry is if they can answer that text fast enough. If breaks my heart.


March 2011


‎"At some point we must draw a line across the ground of our home and our being, drive a spear into the land and say to the bulldozers, earthmovers, government and corporations, “thus far and no further.” If we do not, we shall later feel, instead of pride, the regret of Thoreau, that good but overly-bookish man, who wrote, near the end of his life, “If I repent of anything it is likely to be my good behaviour."

~ Edward Abbey