Skip to content

Reagan and Bush Sr on Climate

Republicans like to think of themselves as the party of Reagan, but it is interesting to consider how if Reagan were a politician today he would almost certainly be branded a RINO, and voted out by the Tea Party know nothings. After all, Reagan passed strong gun control legislation, raised taxes, and gave amnesty to 3 million illegal immigrants. Wow.

But there is new evidence, memos released last week from the Reagan and elder Bush administrations, which show a White House eager to assert leadership in environmental issues including climate change and ozone depletion (it was Reagan who promoted and signed the law banning chlorofluorocarbons).

Most interesting is a memo from 1980, which argues that the US should take a leadership role on climate change, which was just beginning to draw attention back then. The memo calls the threat of climate change “the most far reaching environmental issue of our time.” It also quotes then Secretary of State James Baker:

As you yourself stated, we cannot wait until all the uncertainties have been resolved before we act to limit greenhouse gas emissions and to prepare for whatever climate change we are already committed to.

Compare this to what the current (keystone cop) crop of GOP presidential candidates are saying about climate change. For example, Donald Trump dismissing climate change, saying he is “not a believer” and accusing the crisis as something “created by and for the Chinese”.

Or Chris Christie saying on TV “It’s not a crisis. I don’t see evidence that it’s a crisis. I don’t.”

So, my question is, when did it become required for Republicans to be so aggressively stupid? Was it when the Koch brothers and big oil started paying them lots of money to be so?



  1. Dan wrote:

    Wasn’t it Reagan that took down the solar panels that Carter put on the white house roof? Or is that a myth also? I can’t wait to play “name that President” with my friends.
    If I remember didn’t RR raise taxes on railroad pensions and that sort of thing?

    Friday, December 11, 2015 at 12:37 am | Permalink
  2. Michael wrote:

    Dan, yes, it was Reagan that took the panels down.

    One thing I love (in a very sardonic way) about Republicans is their chutzpah. See this quote from Ted Cruz in the link about Reagan raising taxes: “You know, when Reagan came in, from 1978 to 1982, economic growth averaged less than 1 percent a year. There’s only one other four-year period where that’s true. That’s true from 2008 to 2012.” It’s astounding how Republicans say things like this, hoping that people are ignorant enough to think that is a criticism of Obama’s presidency.

    Friday, December 11, 2015 at 11:41 am | Permalink
  3. Don in Waco wrote:

    Politicization of issues such as AGW has been a brilliant strategy of the Manufactured Doubt industry. Even normally intelligent and science-trained individuals are seemingly more loyal to their political tribal identity’s opinion than to their own scientific tribal treatment of the science. To argue with an R about climate change is like trying to convince a devout Christian that his religion is a myth.

    Monday, December 14, 2015 at 12:21 pm | Permalink
  4. Iron Knee wrote:

    You mean it isn’t a myth? 🙂

    Monday, December 14, 2015 at 1:49 pm | Permalink
  5. Don in Waco wrote:

    Heh. Santa, Tooth Fairy, Jesus, oh wait, the last one is real. I’d go to hell for that if I believed in it. B-)

    Tuesday, December 15, 2015 at 8:47 am | Permalink
  6. cars news wrote:

    top cars 2016
    new cars 2016
    2016 cars coming out
    future cars 2016

    Monday, December 21, 2015 at 12:03 am | Permalink