As recently as 2008 the platform of the Republican Party mentioned climate change 13 times. The GOP acknowledged that the Earth’s warming was caused by human activity, and a commitment was made to reducing the nation’s long-term use of fossil fuels.
By 2012, the Republican platform mentioned climate change once, in scare quotes, to disparage serious concerns about it. Moreover, the party dismissed any proposals to reduce carbon emissions.
Once elected, President Donald Trump moved to define climate change as a nonexistent threat. Through executive order, Trump directed federal agencies to abandon any planning for climate change and to abolish previously adopted rules and regulations. This unfortunate GOP reversal not only contradicts the Pentagon — which takes climate change very seriously and views America’s continued reliance on fossil fuels as a threat to national security — it abandons a key conservative ideal: morally responsible stewardship for future generations. This ideal was demonstrated by multiple Republican presidents in the 20th century.