That’s Rich

So that oracle of obnoxiousness, National Review editor Rich Lowry, showed up on California NPR affiliate KCRW-FM last Friday to discuss the week’s events with “Left, Right and Center” host Matt Miller. When the discussion turned to the September 21 People’s Climate March and the subsequent UN Climate Summit, Lowry couldn’t resist getting his sleaze on.

Miller acknowledged that Lowry was “skeptical” of climate science, which raised the obvious question of why he was brought on to begin with. Miller, of course, failed to acknowledge that National Review is heavily dependent on advertising from the fossil-fuel industry, a fairly obvious reason why he’s so “skeptical” of the science. (Miller also failed to acknowledge the publication’s sordid attacks on climate scientist Michael Mann.)

Lowry declared last week’s historic events “completely meaningless,” a description that would be more applicable to, well, Rich Lowry. He trotted out the usual denialist lines–China’s much worse than we are in terms of emissions, wind power is ineffective, etc. He also branded the March “symbolic, self-flagellating politics.” (After what he said about Sarah Palin in 2008, he probably shouldn’t talk about self-flagellation, if you get my drift.)

Miller then asked Lowry if he supported the concept of a revenue-neutral or rebated carbon tax to reduce carbon pollution, which has been embraced by conservative economists such as Gregory Mankiw, Douglas Holtz-Eakin, Irwin Stelzer and Henry Paulson, among others). Lowry responded with the most tired of denialist tropes, the idea that global warming somehow “stopped” in the 1990s:

Poor Rich. Usually people get smarter as they get older.

Robert Scheer, the other guest on the program, correctly accused Miller of “indulging the irrational right.” Seriously, is it that hard to find a non-progressive who accepts mainstream science but who disagrees with the Obama administration’s policy proposals on climate, rather than a far-right freak like Lowry?

Since when did NPR become National Petroleum Radio? What an awful segment.

UPDATE: Stelzer again urges Republicans to support a revenue-neutral carbon tax.

D.R. Tucker

D. R. Tucker is a Massachusetts-based journalist who has served as the weekend contributor for the Washington Monthly since May 2014. He has also written for the Huffington Post, the Washington Spectator, the Metrowest Daily News, investigative journalist Brad Friedman's Brad Blog and environmental journalist Peter Sinclair's Climate Crocks.