Since the early 90s, many Republican lawmakers have jumped into bed with the fossil fuel industry. Using largely pro-Republican media, they have conspired to actively promote the idea that man-made climate change is an elaborate fiction, despite the fact that the science makes it clear that the very opposite is true.
One only needs to look to the current Republican standard bearer’s thoughts on climate change – that it’s a myth, a Chinese hoax – for a summation of the general GOP stance on the issue. There’s only so much that scientists and science journalists can do to educate the public on the matter when powerful, vested interests are constantly distorting the facts.
“Fox News is the biggest single factor keeping almost 40 percent of Americans from believing humans are changing the climate, while only 10 percent know that 97 percent of climate scientists agree we are warming the earth at our peril,” Fenton notes in one email exchange.
Recent Pew polls of the American public back him up on this point. Only 20 percent of those who are pro-Republicans think climate change is a serious problem, compared to 68 percent of Democrats.
Some Republican politicians do in fact wish to support climate change mitigation measures, but many are worried that the Murdoch media machine will discredit them over such actions.
Indeed, Fenton notes that “until Murdoch is put on the defensive on climate change, opening political space for conservatives to come forward, it is unlikely that bipartisan efforts on climate change will be achieved in time.”