How many Republicans believe that cigarettes are not harmful to people’s health and that scientists are engaged in a great conspiracy to deceive people into thinking that they are? How many Republicans would believe cigarette companies if they reassured the public that scientists are merely being cigarette alarmists?
Surely it would be foolish to believe cigarette companies about the health effects of cigarettes rather than the community of scientists. Cigarette companies will lose profits if people know that cigarettes are deadly. Most scientists don’t seek profits; they seek truth and understanding.
For decades, scientists have been piling up evidence that we are heating up the planet and that if we persist, the consequences will be catastrophic. They have identified many harmful effects already attributable to warming after a mere 1 degree Celsius rise in the average global temperature. (Think monster hurricanes.)
Yet those who profit from heating up the planet accuse scientists of deception and alarmism. Most Republican office holders follow their lead.
Can we persuade Republican voters that it’s more reasonable to acquaint themselves with and believe the evidence accumulated by scientists than to believe the reassurances of those who profit from the activities that cause warming?
To have any chance of reducing the grave threat, we need U.S. voters — Republicans, Independents, and Democrats — to educate themselves about climate and vote for people who will fight global warming. A hotter world will not be cooler for Republicans.