Monday, October 19, 2015

Republicans vs. Democrats on climate change at the debates so far

With the first Democratic debate completed, it's time to compare the two parties on the issues the moderators thought were important.  One that I think is important is climate change as a proxy for all environmental issues.  However, that was not a subject at the first Republican debate, as the following graph from FiveThirtyEight shows.

Not a word.  Of course, the choice of topics reflects that of Fox News, who was more concerned about being a good gatekeeper for the GOP but failing at it when it came to keeping Trump in line.  Besides, comparing both parties and networks using the first debates introduces one variable too many for a good natural experiment.  Follow over the jump for a comparison of the second Republican debate and the first Democratic one, which were both on CNN.

FiveThirtyEight compiled the following graph of topics covered at the second GOP debate.

Climate change was discussed twice at the debate.  However, the topic was not given high priority by the candidates, as Climate Truth on YouTube shows in Climate Change at the CNN GOP Debate.

Last night the climate silence was broken! But how did you feel about the question and the responses from Rubio and Christie? Are Republicans finally being pushed away from outright denial of climate change to denial of solutions? Or was it same old, same old.
It wasn't quite the same old, same old, but it was close.  Here is a meme I posted at Michigan Liberal last year.

My comment at the time was "I think we're hitting stage three, with a few people transitioning to stage four.  So, how long before we get to stage five?"  Rubio has moved to stage four, while Christie is starting to move to stage five.  That's an improvement of sorts, but not much.  At least they recognize that climate change is real, but they prioritize it very highly.

As for the Democrats, FiveThirtyEight graphed the topics covered by CNN's moderators in their first debate.

Not only was climate changed asked about more, but the candidates had very different responses, as Climate Truth showed in Climate Change at the First Democratic Debate.

Last night's #?DemDebate represented significant progress on climate and also highlighted the stark difference between the Democratic candidates and the Republican candidates on one of the most important issues facing the nation and the world.
As can be seen, the Democratic candidates take climate change seriously, although Webb sees it more as an energy problem than an enviromental one.  For what it's worth, the strongest statement on climate change at the debate wasn't even included in that clip.  Here it is--Sanders on greatest national security threat: Climate change.

Feel the Bern!


  1. Top Scientist Resigns Admitting Global Warming Is A Big Scam

    1. A physicist, not a climatologist. When you find a climatologist who says explains that climate change actually isn't happening or conclusively shows that humans aren't responsible, come back. Until then, old farts in other fields who complain about the methods using biased sources will not impress me, nor should they impress my readers.

    2. So, @Ed is at stage one? Or is the resignation letter referring to, say, oil money that is put out there to deny climate change? Because that is the corruption that I see.

    3. Well, at least you're not trying to tell us that Global Warming and Climate Change are two different things.
      I like physicists. They're really good at seeing through the BS.
      Maybe you can tell us what the climate is supposed to be so we will know if it's changing too much.

    4. MJ, I can't really tell which of the first three stages either Ed or about the physicist he cited are at--not enough information.

      Ed, actually, I can. The average temperature of the Northern Hemisphere should be almost two degrees Fahrenheit cooler than it is today based on the pre-1900 temperature trend, three degrees based on the progress of previous interglacials. If you want the reasoning and evidence, you will have to wait until I put together an entire entry with links; it will take more effort than a simple comment is worth. In the meantime, count your blessings that you stumbled onto someone who actually knows the answer to what you may have thought was a rhetorical question too hard to answer.