Leap of Faith

There is high irony in the title of this week’s Think Progress post on Jeb Bush’s May 9 speech at Liberty University–“Jeb Bush Signals His Faith Informs His Positions On Climate Change”–since there isn’t a chance in hell that Bush would actually try to curb carbon pollution as President. As TP’s Jack Jenkins notes, the wannabe warmonger simply cannot be trusted when he suggests that his faith compels him to take climate protection seriously:

…Bush has undergone something of an evolution — or, perhaps, a spiritual journey — on the issue of climate change over the years. In 2011, he hesitantly acknowledged that global warming “may be real,” but said he was unsure whether it was “disproportionately man-made” and argued [climate-change deniers] have “every right” to contend that “it’s not a certainty.” And while recent weeks have seen him more willing to recognize our changing climate — he described it in April as an issue he is “concerned about” and encouraged cooperation with other countries to “negotiate a way to reduce carbon emissions” — his actual policy agenda is incomplete at best. Speaking to a group in New Hampshire last month, Bush explained his only solution to climate change was to “take advantage of the abundance of natural gas,” a position that mirrors proposals from some Democrats but still carries its own environmental risks.

One of Bush’s billionaire bankrollers, Andy Sabin, has said that he wants the former Florida governor to lead the GOP back to scientific reality. If Sabin is serious, why doesn’t he try to lure libertarian economist and carbon-tax advocate Jerry Taylor into Bush’s inner circle? In a lengthy interview with Vox‘s David Roberts, Taylor predicted that it won’t be too long before the right comes back to the table on this issue:

One thing we know about politics is that windows of opportunity for major policy change do not open on demand, and they do not open frequently, but they do open. And the other thing we know about them is that they open on timetables that are mysteries to mortal men. So I don’t know when a window of opportunity for a carbon tax will open, or how it will open, but I can guarantee it will open.

That window might have an easier chance of opening if Taylor was in Bush’s ear, telling him to push that window up. Mr. Sabin, if you really want your party to exorcise the demon of denial, you know which priest to call.

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.