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The Republicans who now accept the need for action on climate change

Climate Converts: The Conservatives Who Are Switching Sides on Warming
It’s hardly being noticed, given the current political atmosphere in Washington. But a small yet growing number of Republicans, conservatives, and libertarians are starting to push for action on climate. Yale Environment 360   
  MARCH 30, 2017 As liberal Democrats and conservative Republicans pull farther apart in the long-running, increasingly polarized debate over climate change, Jerry Taylor is a rare bird — an advocate who has switched sides.

For two decades, as an energy and environment expert with the conservative American Legislative Exchange Council and the libertarian Cato Institute, Taylor challenged the scientific consensus on climate change and argued that decarbonizing the energy sector would impose intolerable costs on the U.S. economy. “I was an enthusiastic and convinced champion of the idea that climate change is an overblown problem,” he says.

Today, as the founder and president of the Niskanen Center, a libertarian think tank, Taylor embraces the scientific consensus on climate change and argues that a carbon tax is “the most efficient and least costly means of achieving greenhouse gas emissions reductions and hedging against climate risk.” He makes the conservative case for carbon pricing in footnoted position papers, on Capitol Hill, and to the media, with unbridled passion. “If you believe in free markets, how are those ends advanced by burning the planet?” he asks.

Taylor has joined a small but growing cohort of Republicans, conservatives, and libertarians who are bucking Republican Party orthodoxy on climate — even as President Trump has moved briskly to roll back the Obama administration’s major climate initiatives. Loosely organized and sometimes called the eco-right, they include GOP stalwarts James Baker and George Shultz and the former treasury secretary Hank Paulson; Ted Halstead of the Climate Leadership Council, a newly formed research and advocacy group that supports a revenue-neutral carbon tax; Eli Lehrer of the R Street Institute, a right-leaning Washington think tank that supports carbon taxes; and Lynn Scarlett, a former Bush administration official and director of the libertarian Reason Foundation who now directs global public policy at The Nature Conservancy. ……..


April 1, 2017 - Posted by | climate change, politics, USA

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