I just came across a great article on NPR. Great in that it was extremely informative and gave me some insight on something that, as a climate change educator, has continually perplexed me. The content itself, however, was not as great for climate change educators like myself. Go ahead and read the NPR article here.
The sum of the debate is that the number of republicans who support climate change legislation is decreasing, through term limits and changes of opinion. GOP candidates don't want to lose money or votes by supporting climate change legislation, even if they did support it a year or two ago. Its better to change their opinion than get insulted by members of the party. And those who DO still stand up for sound, well-supported science are being scoffed at.
Unfortunately, many individuals see climate change as a political issue instead of a scientific issue. Of course, it is a political issue, but disagreeing on how to treat climate change (a perfectly acceptable political discussion; cap and trade, carbon tax, etc.), is very different from the denialist opinion that it isn't happening so why should we spend money or time on it. That opinion is contrary to everything shown by thousands and thousands of scientists. Anyone with an understanding of the scientific method can see that there is substantial scientific evidence for human-made climate change, shown by thousands of scientists independently. An aside, if you have EVER tried to get even 10 academics to agree on something, you'd know what an amazing feat it has been to get thousands of scientists to agree on climate change. Conspiracy? I think not.
Let's argue politically about what to do with our future carbon emissions, not whether or not they create a problem. Hand-picking a few flawed graphs or arguments about the degree of change within a certain aspect of climate to promote the *fallacy* of human-made climate change is as bad as the non-scientific attacks on evolution made by creationists. Let's buck up on our science, both Democrats and Republicans alike, and work together for the betterment of the US and the world!