It’s time for us conservatives to end the denial on climate change

In a recent National Affairs essay, Jim Manzi and Peter Wehner provide an explanation: “The Republican position — either avowed ignorance or conspiracy theorizing — is ultimately unsustainable, but some still cling to it because they believe that accepting the premise that some climate change is occurring as a result of human action means accepting the conclusions of the most rabid left-wing climate activists. They fear, at least implicitly, that the politics of climate change is just a twisted road with a known destination . . . ceding yet another key economic sector to government control.”

This is the temptation of the ideologically intense on the left and right: Truth exists to serve the narrative rather than the narrative arising from truth. It is a malady easy to see in others and harder to diagnose in ourselves. But it is dangerous to democracy. Without a common factual basis, it is impossible to make incremental progress on public matters. All that remains are shouting matches and power plays.

The pope’s views on climate change are shared by every national academy of science in the world, including our own. But, as Manzi and Wehner demonstrate in their essay, there are distinctly conservative responses to global warming, particularly in promoting energy innovation.

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