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Republicans Need a New Excuse for Climate Inaction

The climate agreement between China and the U.S. is bad news for Republicans who used China’s lack of pollution controls as an excuse for climate inaction at home.  

Jonathan Chait : “Over the last several years, as open advocacy of scientific denial has grown somewhat less fashionable, conservatives have leaned more heavily on their premise that Chinese emissions are immutable.”  

“The implication of this criticism is that if it were possible to persuade China to reduce its emissions, then some kind of reciprocal commitment by the U.S. would make sense.”  

“It would be nice to think that evidence like today’s pact would at least soften the GOP’s unyielding certainty about the absolute impossibility of a global climate accord.”  

Lucia Graves of the National Journal : “The larger question is whether any of the Republicans who have relied on this talking point for so long will take the opportunity to reconsider their positions, given China’s stated intention. If not, perhaps they can at least accede that it’s a victory?”  


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