Three elder Republican statesmen two staunch advocates for market-based climate solutions and one surprising convert who spoke to the serious threat posed by climate change made recent eco-right news.
On Sunday’s PBS NewsHour, former Reagan Secretary of State George Shultz called efforts to reduce carbon dioxide a matter of “the marketplace.” As a member of the Conservative Leadership Council (CLC), he has advocated for a carbon dividend plan that would assess a carbon fee on polluters and rebate Americans with the revenues.”You don’t have to rely on any fancy science to figure out that the globe is warming,” he added. “That is a fact. But if you have a question about it, why don’t you take out an insurance policy? Because the consequences are considerable.”
Shultz’s call for a carbon dividend is echoed by another former Secretary of State and fellow CLC member, James A. Baker III. “If we battle across partisan lines on the remedy to climate change, then there is an excellent possibility that nothing will happen,” Baker said at Princeton University last week. “This country works best when the two sides of our polity can find middle ground on issues. I know that doing just that is very hard given our political environment in which many consider compromise to be a dirty word. As with so many other challenges confronting our country today, this hyper-partisan divide is keeping us from finding a way forward.”
And finally, in written testimony prepared for the Senate Intelligence Committee, the Director of National Intelligence, former Indiana Sen. Dan Coats, who during his time in elected office rejected climate science, wrote that climate change “is projected to fuel more intense and frequent extreme weather events that will be distributed unequally in time and geography. Countries with large populations in coastal areas are particularly vulnerable to tropical weather events and storm surges, especially in Asia and Africa.” Coats provided the caveat that the agency does not “adjudicate the science of climate change” but “rel[ies] on US government-coordinated scientific reports, peer-reviewed literature, and reports produced by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which is the leading international body responsible for assessing the science related to climate change.”
Who will speak up next?