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Republicans aren’t just climate deniers. They deny the extinction crisis, too

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23.05.2019

Maybe you’ve read King Lear and remember this famous line: “‘Tis the time’s plague when madmen lead the blind.” The words were written more than 400 years ago as a comment on the deadly consequences of greed, delusion and political folly, but they could serve just as well as a Republican party slogan today. They’re a fitting description of the Republican party’s delusional campaign to deny the environmental crises that threaten our planet and our civilization.

For decades now, Republican politicians and their patrons in the fossil fuel industry have used think tanks, front groups and public relations operatives to promote faulty science and perpetuate the myth that the climate crisis is a hoax. This campaign of climate deception, which is elegantly documented in books like Merchants of Doubt, has exacted a huge toll on the planet and its people – it has sabotaged domestic and international efforts to combat greenhouse gas pollution and exacerbated a crisis that is acidifying oceans, melting polar ice caps, supercharging storms and making the Earth less hospitable to human and animal life. We have a name for the purveyors of this deceitful campaign: we call them “climate deniers.”

Now, it appears, prominent Republican officials and their industry benefactors are using the same bankrupt strategy to sow doubt about the wildlife extinction crisis that threatens the continued existence of as many as one million species across the globe. The Republican elites are not just climate deniers – they are extinction deniers too.

On Wednesday, Democrats on the House Natural Resources Committee called a hearing to discuss the grave findings of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), an independent body established by United Nations member........

© The Guardian