A recent study by Sondre Båtstrand shows what an extreme outlier the modern Republican party is when compared with the conservative parties in nine other democracies with respect to their attitudes about climate change. Interestingly, a survey by Republican pollsters indicates the party's presidential candidates denial of climate change science no longer reflects the views of the party's base either.
According to Jonathan Chait writing about the study in the New York Times:
"Of all the major conservative parties in the democratic world, the Republican Party stands alone in its denial of the legitimacy of climate science. Indeed, the Republican Party stands alone in its conviction that no national or international response to climate change is needed. To the extent that the party is divided on the issue, the gap separates candidates who openly dismiss climate science as a hoax, and those who, shying away from the political risks of blatant ignorance, instead couch their stance in the alleged impossibility of international action."
For example, the establishment candidate former Governor Jeb Bush said he thinks the science has been politicized, according to an interview in Esquire magazine. While professional bloviator Donald Trump has repeatedly called global warming "a total hoax." His evidence was that it was cold in New York in wintertime.
As for the other front-runners, Dr. Ben Carson thinks that the climate change debate is "irrelevant" and that temperature change is cyclical. He discards evolution and the Big Bang theory as well. For a man of science, the former neurosurgeon does not have much basic respect for, well, science.
Carly Fiorina at least does not pretend the science is in dispute. In fact, she told conservative high priest Glenn Beck that "scientists tell us climate change is real and man made." Of course, such parsing of words keeps her own views on the actual science itself well concealed.
And many of these presidential aspirants represent states on the forefront of climate change. For example, regardless of Governor Bobby Jindal's denial of climate change, "Louisiana's coastline has been losing wetlands equal to the loss of a football field of coast every hour, according to a study released by the U.S. Geologicial Survey" in 2014.
However, the candidates themselves have drifted much farther to the right than the party's conservative base. According to a recent poll:
"A majority of Republicans -- including 54 percent of self-described conservative Republicans -- believe the world's climate is changing and that mankind plays some role in the change, according to a new survey conducted by three prominent Republican pollsters."
"Fewer than a third of Republicans think the climate is changing because of purely natural cycles, and only 9 percent think the climate is not changing at all, the survey found."
The survey findings indicate that eventually the conservative base may become disgruntled with candidates who no longer reflect their views on the issue. "The activists who crowd town hall meetings and Republican presidential caucuses and primaries might not reflect the broader attitude of even the Republican electorate."
Of course, these evolving views may likely be mitigated by the fact that only about half of the population views climate change as a "major threat." In fact: "In an international survey of 39 republics last year, Americans were among the least concerned about climate change threatening their country."
However, such lax attitudes may change as the weather grows more and more extreme and freakish.
Louisiana Governor and former Rhodes scholar Bobby Jindal said that the Republicans have to quit being the party of stupid! Not much later he signed a law paving the way to teach creationist and anti-climate change pseudoscience in schools under the guise of promoting the discussion of "diverse scientific theories." That irony defines the Republican party's science denial in a nutshell!