Ryan Avent replies to Manzi:
The public would be likely to entertain an argument that emissions reductions will increase energy costs, but the problem here is that Republicans are not going to be able to reduce energy costs. No one will. So all Democrats have to say is that, look, these costs are going to continue to rise. Better then to make an effort to switch to renewable fuels that don’t involve massive emissions and massive transfers of wealth to fossil fuel exporting nations. The Republican position will also be very vulnerable to the (not inaccurate) charge that they’re primarily concerned about the bottom lines of big energy companies.
But to see why the GOP will ultimately have to join Democrats on this issue or face political disaster, all you have to do is pick up a newspaper, or talk about the news with anyone who doesn’t cover these issues for a living. The weather has been really freaky recently, and that’s not coincidental. It’s going to get worse. You’re going to see oddly intense storms, and stories about droughts and desertification, and heart-wrenching tales of cuddly animal extinctions. And then you’re going to see pictures of thousands of dead Bangladeshis and millions of climate refugees. And the GOP is going to win electoral victory forever by saying that all we need to do is build bigger levies.
No, Republicans will not win on this issue.
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