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:
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!):
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:
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.