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Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Wingnut Cover-up? Memos Reveal Reagan And the shrub's Daddy Warned Of Climate Change Threat

Bush-Reagan-Clmate Change - B-WRecently released confidential internal memos of the Reagan and elder shrub White Houses reveal they knew about global warming and warned that climate change posed a national security threat.
An investigation by Joby Warrick of the Washington Post published Thursday shows a startling difference in the tone and rhetoric of the Republican cabal of the 1980s on environmental issues, including climate change, compared to the wingnut candidates currently running for office. The Post obtained 11 confidential internal memos of the Reagan and elder shrub White Houses – obtained via the Freedom of Information Act – that showed consecutive Republican juntas far more concerned and engaged on the environmental issues than their current counterparts.
The documents portray senior officials in the two Republican juntas pressing for an aggressive response to international environmental issues of the day – including, during the shrub’s term, climate change. The memos reflect the moderate stance on climate change adopted by Republican leaders both in the White House and in Congress throughout the 1980s and 1990s.
Here’s an example from a State Department memo in Feb. 1989 in a newly inaugurated the elder shrub's junta:
Bush-Reagan-Clmate Change - document 7
Notice the ‘need to know more’ reference – a far cry from today’s Republican leadership that only this week again voted to continue a ban on government-funded climate change research.
The same memo goes on to suggest an administration climate action plan, including a call for ‘an international climate convention’ – not unlike the COP21 Paris Climate Conference presently underway (to the chagrin of current Republicans!):
Bush-Reagan-Clmate Change - document 6
A 1987 memo showed Reagan White House officials pushing back against members of Reagan’s own Cabinet in arguing for a strong international treaty that would safeguard “the thin band of atmospheric ozone that protects the Earth from harmful radiation from space.” The memo warned against efforts to weaken the treaty, saying such a move ‘would damage our international credibility.’
In another memo sent to then-Secretary of State James A. Baker III in Feb. 1989, acting assistant secretary Richard J. Smith presented climate change as an opportunity for U.S. leadership:
Bush-Reagan-Clmate Change - document 8
The memos clearly portray a Republican cabal unlike the one today. Not only did the Reagan and elder shrub juntas know of man-made global warming, they already viewed it as a threat in the 1980’s and were advocating strong US leadership – even to the point of entering into an international ‘treaty’ – to address it.
I turns out that as the world’s leaders were addressing climate change in Paris this week – just as the Reagan and elder shrub juntas called for – today’s Republican’s were moving to stifle any discussion and to tie the president’s hands on climate leadership, voting just days ago to kill his Clean Power Plan in congress.
When it comes to acknowledging that climate change is real and a ‘national security threat,’ and pushing for strong US leadership on the issue, Republicans have very short memories.

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