A Truly Alternate Reality

You’d think that sweltering temperatures, raging fires, the pending collapse of ocean currents, and multiple other signs would convince the dubious holdouts who continue to deny the reality of climate change.

As Time Magazine recently reported, you’d be wrong. Instead, extreme weather is actually fueling the crazy Right.

Rather than climate extremes forcing skeptics of climate policy to “get with the program, “conservative backlash around the world to climate policy may have also reached a fever pitch.”

In the U.S., former President Donald Trump has turned electric vehicles into a major attack line targeting President Joe Biden. In a late June speech, he called Biden’s policies “environmental extremism” and claimed they were “heartless and disloyal and horrible for the American worker.’

As the article notes, it is abundantly clear that partisanship matters.

A 2020 paper in the journal Nature Climate Change pointed to a clear dividing line in the U.S. Extreme weather tends to reinforce the link between climate change and weather effects in Democratic and/or highly educated communities—and less so elsewhere.

This dynamic means that extreme weather may actually be creating an opportunity for conservatives to cater to their base. As heat waves or flooding raises the specter of climate change for certain groups, others can use it to raise the specter of the costs of climate policy to rally their most loyal supporters who are primed to oppose it anyway.

It’s relatively easy to dismiss Trump’s rantings on the subject (okay, on any subject), but for most rational individuals, it is simply inconceivable that political operatives would ignore the dangers of climate change in order to play on the ignorance of their supporters–a strategy they must know increases the very real threats to humanity. (Perhaps none of them have grandchildren…)

Inconceivable or not, according to a story in the Guardian, that strategy is deliberate.

An alliance of rightwing groups has crafted an extensive presidential proposal to bolster the planet-heating oil and gas industry and hamstring the energy transition, it has emerged. Against a backdrop of record-breaking heat and floods this year, the $22m endeavor, Project 2025, was convened by the notorious rightwing, climate-denying think-tank the Heritage Foundation, which has ties to fossil fuel billionaire Charles Koch.

Called the Mandate for Leadership: The Conservative Promise, it is meant to guide the first 180 days of presidency for an incoming Republican president, writes Dharna Noor. Climate experts and advocates have criticized planning that would dismantle US climate policy. The guide’s chapter on the US Department of Energy proposes eliminating three agency offices that are crucial for the energy transition, and also calls to slash funding to the agency’s grid deployment office in an effort to stymie renewable energy deployment, E&E News reported this week.

The plan is nothing if not thorough; electing a Republican President who would implement it would be nothing short of suicidal. 

The part of the plan dealing with the Department of Energy (which would also hugely expand gas infrastructure) was authored by Bernard McNamee, formerly a senior advisor to Ted Cruz. McNamee previously led the far-right Texas Public Policy Foundation, which fights environmental regulation.

Another chapter focuses on gutting the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and moving it away from its focus on the climate crisis. It proposes cutting the agency’s environmental justice and public engagement functions, while shrinking it as a whole by terminating new hires in “low-value programs”, E&E News reported. The proposal was written Mandy Gunasekara, who was the former chief of staff at the EPA under Trump.

Efforts to undermine existing environmental safeguards aren’t limited to Rightwing think-tanks. GOP members of the House continually attack federal climate funding in their spending bill proposals, putting numerous governmental functions at risk.

Earlier this month, the Clean Budget Coalition– – composed of more than 250 advocacy groups – warned that Republican representatives were slipping restrictions on climate spending into the government’s annual spending bills, bills that must be passed before current funding expires on 30 September to avoid a government shutdown. This week, the coalition found that House Republicans had added additional “poison pills” to spending bills, including ones that target environmental funding.

The ragtag group of Republicans running for President are echoing this insanity–none more enthusiastically than Indiana’s “gift” to the nation, Mr. Piety Pence.

Pence–a longtime climate-change denier who (fortunately) has about as much chance of being President as I do–recently unveiled an economic proposal that includes eliminating the Environmental Protection Agency and reversing President Biden’s efforts to curb the impacts of climate change.

This Republican attack on sanity raises the stakes. Voting Blue is no longer “just” about fighting racism and homophobia, regaining women’s autonomy and protecting democracy.

It’s not hyperbole to say it’s about protecting life on Earth.


  1. Wow. Stunning. It is not hard to see why other rational nations are hesitant to follow our lead when we change paths like this. The crazies (or just a few of them) can mess up our government work at will. Fingers crossed going into the fall.

  2. For me it has always been about environmental protection. I could let all of the culture wars go if it would prompt relevant action on the climate. But the issues are intertwined, and there is no doubt that the GOP would set our country back a generation in terms of environmental protections.
    An acquaintance recently posted an article on social media about how it is impossible that humans could be having an affect on the climate because once there was an Ice Age, and the Earth has warmed since then, therefore humans cannot possibly be responsible for climate change. And this is an intelligent, well-educated person. Another friend complains that the Left does not understand electricity and how we need to burn coal and fossil fuels and the efforts to switch to sustainable energy is bad because Germany has had problems with their energy grid.
    I politely suggest to them that I hear buggy whip futures are a sure bet.

  3. One more rant this morning. The most cost-effective way to mitigate the effects of climate change is to protect, preserve, and restore what remains of our natural environment. Stop clear-cutting our mature forests. Use sustainable methods to harvest lumber. Protect wetlands.
    Of course, the World’s Worst Legislature is doing exactly the opposite, and the members of the sadly misnamed Environmental Affairs Committee all have ties to the building and construction industries. So, now that the Supremes have removed all federal protections on most of our wetlands, what do you think is going to happen to what remains in our state?
    And I recently heard of a proposed tech development in Boone County (LEAP Planned Development) that will require them to pump 100 million gallons of water from the Wabash River and the aquifer beneath it. Per day. 100 million gallons of water PER DAY.
    At a time when the climate is changing, massive droughts of biblical proportions are all around the world and in our own country, we are planning to use our most precious resource until it is gone forever.
    I hope for a restoration of sanity before it is too late.

  4. When I taught AP biology, I researched the ecological parts of the course material and discovered a remarkable study that indicated that the Earth’s ability to produce calories for human survival was limited to between 3 – 4 billion mouths. This year, we passed the 8 billion threshold. No wonder, then, that there are 3 – 4 billion humans who are food insecure on the planet. Even as our 30+ shooting wars attempt to control populations, the population grows… and grows.

    My point is that humans evolved as “use it up, throw it away and move on” organisms. The evidence is everywhere humans existed. Well, we have no other place to go. We are so clever at making labor-saving machines that burn carbon-based fuels that some day soon, we will have “created” an uninhabitable planet. Climate change deniers remain in the minority – the usual 30% in the U.S. – but they are getting way too big a platform from right wing politicians and media.

    Heck, there are contributors on this very blog who mock those who are aware of the problem. Does anyone know why facts are so easily ignored by those folks?

  5. It can be no coincidence that I just left watching “The Twilight Zone” on SyFi channel to find today’s blog title “A Truly Alternate Reality” to post my answer to why there is nothing but Trump and Trump related news on all media. I even wrote down Rod Serling’s words so I wouldn’t forget them.

    We have “Entered another dimension; not only of sight and sound but of mind.” We have entered the Trumplight Zone; like a flesh eating virus he is eating away at our mentality and using our own fears and failings to maintain his death grip on supporters and detractors alike. The Climate Change Deniers outshouted the Climate Change warnings and the “…extreme weather is actually fueling the crazy Right.” In actuality it is fossil fueling the crazy Right and the Left such as Manchin, et al, whose profit source is fossil fuel. Indiana’s own contribution is Mike Pence who is proposing eliminating the Environmental Protection Agency totally.

    “This Republican attack on sanity raises the stakes. Voting Blue is no longer “just” about fighting racism and homophobia, regaining women’s autonomy and protecting democracy.

    It’s not hyperbole to say it’s about protecting life on Earth.”

  6. Today I saw comments in two different news items saying the Government is controlling the weather. Alternate reality indeed.

  7. The Republican Party’s antagonism toward anything helpful to democracy, the environment, or those whose incomes are below seven figures reminds me of the opposition to Civil Rights posed by the Dixiecrats in the 1940s and 50s. Eventually, the tide of public opinion turned against them and they were relegated to the dustbin of history, only to reemerge as today’s Republicans.

  8. You mentioned the oligarchic culprit for all this alternate reality – Charles Koch and his red states. Charles is also fighting worker protection in this heat. They are even suing the blue states that offer protections for workers in certain industries where the heat has been debilitating.

    We must set up our own poison pills as the inevitable damage in red states is met with disasters and no more federal aid. Start cutting their funding. Make them suffer their own consequences. Make it hurt.

    Poor decisions should have poor consequences. As a people, we make it too easy on the oligarchs calling the shots. For instance, I’d hate to be living in Florida for this upcoming hurricane season with 100-degree ocean waters surrounding me. Talk about storm intensity!

    When Abbott and DeSantis are begging for federal aid this Hurricane season, no more working across the aisle. Our aide comes with caveats. Sign up or NO aide.

    These market crazies need to feel the heat of their own poor decision-making. Let the down side of the market slap some sense into them. 🙂

  9. Instead of ranting, learn and be informed. Suggested reading about part of the crisis not talked about – water: “Blue Revolution” by Cynthia Barnett.

  10. James, you mentioned a plan to pump 100 gallons of water per day and to do that until this resource is gone. That is a huge part of the problem. People don’t understand that Earth has all of the water it is going to get. Rain is NOT new water falling from the sky. It is water that has evaporated into the atmosphere, condensed into droplets, and fell as rain. I don’t want to knock curriculums-I taught for 33 years-but this is a little understood fact.

  11. I hate to be the killjoy..

    Even the folks reading this very blog are unwilling to make changes within their lifestyle in order to facilitate the required changes needed to yield tangible results.

    America; Still home to The Me Generation.

  12. There are many “gods” but only ONE Mother Earth.

    I’m glad I’m old too, Vern.

  13. Ian, the killjoy. What have you done for us lately?

    I’m happy knowing that if the AC in my house goes out, I have many, many hours of cool, quiet, odor-free air in my EV.

    Now if only my HOA would allow solar…

  14. Jane: “What have you done for us lately? ”

    I’m not your subordinate. This is a blog,not a plantation.

  15. Guilty as charged! I’m one of those who didn’t go electric or hybrid when I bought my car. I decided that if this is the last car I’m buying it will be the one I’ve drempt about for 53 years. I offset the damage by reducing my miles. I’m driving a little less than 2500 miles per year, so down by 50%. I hope it helps.

  16. Folks, there is massive evidence that the impact of even many, many individual efforts will not be enough to turn the “climate Titanic”. What is needed is global and many national efforts regarding fossil fuels, water, etc. If the US can’t even barely dent this, what do you think others will do? IGIO

  17. Lester,

    The “Titanic” will not be turned in time. It’s not just the warming. It’s the deforestation. It’s the plastic residue in EVERYTHING that goes into our bodies. In “modern” countries, it’s the terrible nutritional content of the cheap food. It’s the poisoning and trashing of our oceans. Shall I go on?

    If, somehow, humans escape thermonuclear war, they will overpopulate – even more – and cross the tipping point (If we aren’t already past it.) where human life is not sustainable. We’ve already educated our way out of survival skills should we not have electricity. Yes, dystopia is at hand.

    I’m glad I’m old, but I feel badly for the good people who will have to endure the stupidity and filth of our generation’s irresponsibility.

  18. The world has always been a scary place because life depends on it as well as us. We’re not very good at our job because of politics/advertising/propaganda/entertainment but things are even scarier now because we have adopted technology which empowers all of those categories of the same thing; diversion from reality. Now we have brought about a daily double of our dysfunctions making earth growingly dysfunctional too. We can survive all that but will we?

    I don’t know but it’s not looking good at the moment.

  19. Our species will either solve our problems and continue to survive or not. It really is as straightforward as that. We don’t have the power to destroy all life on earth, but we do have the power to cause our own extinction. Will we? Stay tuned.

  20. Well, there it is, the adjective says it all: “…the crazy Right.” Crazies do not care about “findings,” “studies,”
    “analysis,” “facts,” etc.
    The gaslighting/brainwashing of decades has wasted any capacity for rational thinking among the “crazies,”
    which is a big part of why they are “…the crazies!
    JoAnn, you are right about the “Trumplight zone,” but his presence on the political stage was enabled by those
    previous years of FAUX News’ incessant gaslighting. On the other hand, it is certainly a coincidence.
    It is amazing that scientists still do not understand what dark matter, and dark energy are made of, there is a
    vast amount of it available for study in the Q, MAGA and denier excuses for brains that live among us.

  21. The Bible predicts the world will be consumed by fires. As fires burn more of the earth each and every year, I keep wondering why evangelicals haven’t become the most vocal proponents of climate change information.

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