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Home Publications Blogs Beat the Press How Does the NYT Know What Republican Governors Really Believe About the World?

How Does the NYT Know What Republican Governors Really Believe About the World?

Tuesday, 03 June 2014 04:08

An NYT article on President Obama's plan to have the Environmental Protection Agency impose restrictions on the emission of carbon dioxide told readers:

"Many Republican governors, in particular, are ideologically opposed to the prospect of enacting cap-and-trade programs."

How would the NYT know Republican' governors ideological beliefs and why would they think it is the basis for their actions? Politicians are not elected for their political philosophy, they are elected because they get the support of powerful interest groups. They advance their careers by pleasing these interest groups. Why would the NYT think that politicians would turn around and act on their ideology, rather than serving these interest groups?

It may be news to the NYT, but politicians sometimes don't give the real reason for their actions. Since it probably doesn't sound good to say that you are willing to let the planet be destroyed to serve the coal and industry magnates that contribute to your campaign, it shouldn't be surprising that many politicians will say that they oppose measures to restrict emissions for ideological reasons.

As a practical matter if the NYT wants to claim the opposition is for ideological reasons, it might be worth explaining to readers what the ideology is. The issue with carbon dioxide emissions is that they are creating damage to large parts of the world through changing the climate. This means rising oceans leading to enormous problems of flooding in densely populated countries like Bangladesh. It also means increased desertification in places like Sub-Saharan Africa. The result will be hundreds of millions of people losing their livelihood and in many cases their lives.

It would be interesting to know what ideology the NYT thinks these Republican governors hold that says that people have a right to destroy others' property and take their lives with impunity. It's certainly not one that is openly espoused. (It's not worth claiming that they don't believe in human caused global warming. Not one of them is that ignorant.)


Note: link fixed.

Comments (6)Add Comment
The link is broken
written by Shawn Wilkinson, June 03, 2014 4:41
The link on your blog is broken. At least the opinion page has good writing on the topic:

On the Jazz
written by Larry Signor, June 03, 2014 6:23
You and Jared are hitting them out of the park. Great work. (Especially the last paragraph.)
Gift to Wall Street
written by SteveB, June 03, 2014 6:36
Cap and Trade would probably lead to lots of trade, and would thus be a major gift to Wall Street. This inefficiency is a bad idea. Has it worked where it has been tried? Taxing carbon is preferable, with the tax then redistributed.
McCain and Palin 2008 Climate Change for you and me??
written by jumpinjezebel, June 03, 2014 2:01
In 2008 McCain was a believer and his goals were even more ambitious than those just announced by Obama. So the Republicans are just serving their masters in flip-flopping on this issue.
written by fuller schmidt, June 03, 2014 7:58
Perfectly said - the ideology of destruction.
written by chris, June 03, 2014 9:47
I take issue with the claim that Rick Perry is not ignorant enough to disbelieve in human caused global warming.

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About Beat the Press

Dean Baker is co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington, D.C. He is the author of several books, his latest being The End of Loser Liberalism: Making Markets Progressive. Read more about Dean.