Worried they’ll be called ‘climate deniers’ some in GOP are dancing with Democrats

There is a new animal in Congress. It’s called the Conservative Climate Caucus (CCS). It exists because some Republicans can’t resist muddying the waters when it comes to making energy more expensive. 

Rep. John Curtis, the former Democratic mayor of Provo, Utah, has established a group for Republicans who want to oppose the Biden climate agenda but don’t want to be considered “climate deniers.” 

But other than assuming that “climate change” (whatever that term means) is necessarily bad and that emissions should be somehow reduced (albeit in a “practical” way), there is little difference between Mr. Curtis and his friends and the typical Bush Republican when it comes to climate.

Although both President Joe Biden and his climate envoy John Kerry recently admitted that even zero emissions would be insufficient action from their apocalyptic viewpoint, they nevertheless favor spending trillions of dollars to try to stop our impending doom.  

So, amen to the vast majority of Congressional Republicans who oppose Mr. Biden’s pointless and damaging agenda of higher energy prices, less reliable energy, and fewer personal and political liberties – all for absolutely no change in the weather or climate. 

At its core, membership in the CCC is a purely political pose ostensibly designed to help congressional Republicans to maintain their seats.  Will it?

Well, there is no opinion research data that indicates that Republican voters are demanding government action on climate change, whatever one means by “climate change.”. 

While Democrats are much more likely than Republicans to express concern for climate change, when voters are asked about their priorities, climate always ranks near or at the bottom of the list.  The economy, COVID-19, health care, crime, law enforcement, education, immigration, and other issues are all more important to voters.  This was certainly true as of the 2020 election, according to exit polls.

Underscoring data about priorities are other survey results from groups as diverse in climate views as the Washington Post and the Competitive Enterprise Institute. These report that most voters aren’t willing to spend more than a few dollars a month for the climate. Slight increases in hypothetical climate costs produce dramatically higher rejection of public policies designed to “address” climate change.    

Despite all the media and activist hype about the supposedly looming climate cataclysm, voters have remained largely disinterested in and unconcerned about the issue over the past few decades.  Perhaps, one reason for this is that the past 50 years of catastrophic environmental predictions have proven comically false.

There was no ice age in the 1970s.  Acid rain didn’t destroy New England’s lakes and rivers in the 1980s.  Manhattan’s West Side Highway remains way above sea level.  The polar caps remain frozen.  The snows of Kilimanjaro and the glaciers at Glacier National Park are all still there despite predictions they would all be gone by now. 

Hall of Fame comedian and hard-core liberal George Carlin brilliantly illustrated the arrogance of the radical environmentalists and their silly agenda in his famous routine, “Saving the Planet.” Carlin walked laughing audiences through a thorough debunking of preposterous doomsday worries. 

Has any Republican won or maintained a seat because of support for climate action?  No.  But former Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-Fla.) and Rep. Bob Inglis (R-S.C.) readily come to mind as examples of former members of Congress who tried to save themselves by emoting over climate were turned out by voters anyway. 

In addition to pointlessly dividing the Republican Party with its climate virtue-signaling, the CCC deals in voter deception. 

There is no CCC-advocated policy that would make any difference to the climate or environment.  If you believe that man-made emissions are wreaking havoc on the climate, there is no “free market” policy or technology on the foreseeable horizon that would reduce them in any significant way.

The CCC’s more dangerous deception is that pretending the climate controversy is about the climate at all. It’s not. 

Attend any climate rally or march, and the most common sign there will be one that reads “System Change, Not Climate Change.”  Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, activists have been agitating to go from a COVID-19 lockdown into a climate lockdown as part of the leftist dream of a “Great Reset.” 

Contrary to CCC naivete, the right way to think about climate is Marxist “critical theory” applied to the weather.  Like its fellow traveler Critical Race Theory, climate alarm is a perversion of facts and feelings to achieve a left-wing political outcome. 

If the purpose of the CCC was to educate Republicans on the junk science, bad economics, and vile political purpose propelling climate alarm, that would be great.  But trying to pose as morally superior to their fellow Republicans only lends aid and comfort to political foes who have truly awful ends in mind. 

• Steve Milloy publishes JunkScience.com and is the author of “Scare Pollution: Why and How to Fix the EPA.”

Sign up for Daily Opinion Newsletter