Even Now, Still Downplaying Climate Change

Dozens of right-of-center groups take aim at plans to slow global warming.

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If there has ever been a summer of such oppressive heat that Americans are finally forced to confront the reality of climate change, it would be this one.

And yet some groups are doubling down on the notion that climate change continues to reside not in scientific data or fact, but political talking points and hyperinflated rhetoric.

Alongside the increasingly politicized ESG movement (an acronym that stands for “environmental, social and governance”), some conservative organizations, such as the Heritage Foundation, are working to dismantle efforts and programs that seek to mitigate the impact of climate change.

In a wide-ranging strategy called Project 2025, the Washington think tank makes a series of propositions intended for the next Republican administration, bringing together dozens of right-of-center organizations that “are ready to get into the business of restoring this country.”

Among some of the plan’s biggest changes would be to rewrite federal policy on energy and climate, if a Republican should retake the White House in 2024. The plan aims to scrap regulations to rein in greenhouse gas emissions for power plants, oil and gas wells and automobiles, while upending most federal clean energy programs and increasing fossil fuel production and consumption, which directly contributes to global warming.

Speaking favorably of the plan this week, Mandy Gunasekara, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s chief of staff under Trump, backed the idea of slashing the size and scope of the EPA.

“A lot of the rhetoric that the public sees and experiences is based on a picture that’s not consistent with what we’ve seen with observed climate data and that the forecasts actually suggest a mild and manageable climate change in the future,” Gunasekara told NPR, citing scientific research. When pressed for the names of the scientists on which she based her conclusions, she declined to provide them.

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