Republicans suddenly care about credentials, sort of

JEB knows you can’t just listen to any old yahoo when it comes to climate change:

“I hope I’m not going to get castigated for saying this by my priest back home, but I don’t get economic policy from my bishops or my cardinal or my pope,” the former Florida governor said. “I think religion ought to be about making us better as people and less about things that end up getting in the political realm.”

I will give JEB this: he’s a lot more polished at slinging this stuff around than Rick Santorum is. Note the careful use of the term “economic policy” to describe climate change. This is because, while JEB does not want to get his climate change information from the amateurs at the Vatican, we also know that he also doesn’t want to get it from professional climate scientists. No, when JEB wants to know what he should think about the climate, he goes to the real “experts,” the fossil fuel hacks who broke the climate in the first place by never looking past today’s bottom line:

On Tuesday, Tom Altmeyer, a lobbyist for Arch Coal, the second-biggest coal mining company sent out an email blast of the talking points with the subject line reading: “Unfortunately, the Pope’s Encyclical, to be officially released on 6.18. does not appear to address the tragedy of global energy poverty – see realities below [sic]”.

In the email, Altmeyer argued the pope should be promoting fossil fuels if he really cared about social justice.

One big tenet of social justice ought to be that people in less developed parts of the world shouldn’t, you know, die, or lose their ancestral homes, because the United States can’t wean itself off of coal. This phony “social justice” nonsense doesn’t hold up under its own weight, let alone when lined up against all the evidence showing that the global poor are being far more negatively impacted by climate change than us Americans are. The really outrageous thing about JEB’s statement is that taking serious action to curb the impacts of climate change is actually good economic policy as well as sound moral and scientific policy, but that’s only if your idea of “economic policy” is something broader than “say, what was Arch Coal’s net income last quarter?”

Ultimately JEB his fellow Republicans have no interest in listening to real credentialed experts on this issue. They have cared and will continue to care about listening to people with whom they agree (and who pay handsomely to ensure that agreement), period.

"I believe deeply in dismissing any non-expert opinion when it doesn't agree with me"
“I believe deeply in dismissing any non-expert opinion when it doesn’t agree with me”

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