Republicans Are Softening Their Views on Climate Change. Here’s Why.

New Orleans flood waters

Photo by Dinah Rogers of the flooded Simon Bolivar Avenue and Calliope Street.

As long as I have been reporting and commenting on our various environmental problems, the most frequently asked questions from audiences has been how to make government respond to pressing issues, from our coastal crisis to protecting our air, water and public lands.

And one of my answers has always been: Join the Republican Party — and change it.

That advice was never meant as a snarky put-down of “the other” party; I am not now, nor have I ever been, a member of the Democratic Party. Nor, for that matter, have I ever joined an environmental group, whether of the traditional green type or of the sportsman’s variety.

Instead, my suggestion is based on this fact: At least since the 1980s, the GOP has been the party pushing against stronger environmental protections. Worse, when it has controlled either house of Congress or the presidency, it has often sought to weaken those in place.

The arrival of Donald Trump has pushed the party to a new low on this score. No past administration has been more aggressive in rolling back your environmental safeguards in the name of adding a few bucks to industry’s portfolio. You can read a running list at here. (Warning, it isn’t short, or pretty).

So recruiting members to change the GOP’s approach seemed like the surest way to remove that unhealthy roadblock.

Well, there are signs that a change may finally be underway.

The reason: Climate change.

Read the rest of the article at The Times-Picayune.