President Obama said the GOP stance on climate change is an outlier
President Obama gave a news conference on Friday in which he highlighted his accomplishments as President of the United States. He discussed climate change in detail. He pointed out that every step made in trying to cleanup the environment was met with cries that it would kill industry or destroy the economy. Instead, steady progress has always been made.
"Every time we have made a decision," President Obama said. "You know what, we are going to have clean air. The predictions were, everything is going to fall apart. And lo and behold it turned out that American innovation makes getting clean air a lot less expensive than people expected and it happened a lot faster. When we made the decision that we would double fuel efficiency standards on cars, everybody said it's going to ruin the American auto industry. The American auto industry has been booming over the last couple of years."
The President also pointed out that acid rain was a problem back in the 80's and 90's and it was a Republican President, George H.W. Bush, who signed legislation to tackle that problem that is now mostly solved. Many said it would ruin business. It did not. One should note that had that problem not been solved it would have negatively affected both the flora and fauna nationally and likely would have cost more in the aggregate.
The President acknowledged that Republicans would likely continue complaining and campaigning against his efforts on climate change. But then he gave a prescient statement the Republicans would do well to heed if they want to be taken seriously nationally and internationally.
"Keep in mind that right now, the American Republican Party is the only major party that I can think of in the advanced world that effectively denies climate change," President Obama said. "I mean it's an outlier. Many of the key signatories to this deal, the architects to this deal, come from center right governments. Even the far Right government in many of these countries, they may not like immigrants for example, but they admit, yeah the science tells us we have to do something about climate change."
The President said the Republicans may get some short term advantage in the primaries for their climate change denial but that it is likely short-lived. The President was asked seemingly by a foreign reporter if he was embarrassed by the Republicans' stance on climate change. His response was stark.
"No, first of all I am not a member of that party," President Obama said. "Second of all it didn't stop us from being the key leader in getting this done."
The first part of that answer is likely coded. It was likely a backhanded admonition to sensible Republicans to take their party back. We need two or more sensible parties debating real issues to come to better outcomes for Americans.