"I was defeated by facts" How a sceptic changed his mind about climate change
I seem to like events where people of a mindset learn the error of their ways.
"I was defeated by facts," writes the Republican Massachusetts based blogger D. R. Tucker at the FrumForum website. The freelance writer and radio host has explained why, as a member of the "urban right", he has changed his mind about climate change.
"It wasn't all that long ago when I joined others on the right in dismissing concerns about climate change. It was my firm belief that the science was unsettled, that any movement associated with Al Gore and Van Jones couldn't possibly be trusted, that environmentalists were simply left-wing, anti-capitalist kooks."
This response to the public debate on climate change will be familiar to right wing Conservatives and libertarians in the UK, who have seen environmental groups call for state intervention and higher taxation in some areas to deal with global warming.
Tucker writes that he began to question his instinctive rejection of the science of climate change after reading Professor Morris Fiorina's book Disconnect (2009).
"Fiorina noted that while environmentalism is now considered the domain of the Democratic Party, for many years it was the GOP [Republican Party] that was identified with conservationist concerns. I was curious as to how the political climate shifted with regard to environmentalism - and whether there was something to all this talk about climate change."
To conclude he presents an interesting warning. Those who ideologically and emotionally support Republicans will find it increasingly difficult to defend a party that appears anti-science and pro-pollution.
"In the months following my acceptance of the conclusions in the IPCC report, I've had a change in my emotional climate. I go back and forth between disappointment and hope-sadness over seeing Republicans who once believed in the threat of climate change (such as Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown and former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty) suddenly turn into skeptics; optimism about efforts by such groups as Republicans for Environmental Protection and Citizens Climate Lobby to sound the alarm about the need to combat climate pollution.
"I struggle with the urge to give in to cynicism and bitterness, to write off the American right for its refusal to recognize scientific facts. Thankfully, there's a stronger urge - an urge to keep working until the American right recognizes that a healthy planet is required to have the life and liberty that allows us to pursue happiness."