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Abstract

Anthropogenic global climate change (AGC) is proceeding rapidly. The proximate cause is the greenhouse effect of carbon dioxide, methane and other greenhouse gases (GHG), which have rapidly accumulated in the atmosphere from burning fossil fuels and other human activities. Measurements of incoming and outgoing radiation have verified the warming imbalance. Effects manifest themselves in accelerating sea level rise and diminishment of the cryosphere. This has already created climatic refugees and water stress, and will destroy coastal infrastructure. It also impacts ecosystems and biodiversity in many ways. To avoid catastrophic effects, fossil fuel use must cease and carbon sinks must be protected and expanded. While voluminous scientific evidence supports the need for action, the U.S.A. has not acted. A survey of manifestos of geographically diverse conservative national parties in nine industrialized democracies (US, Canada, UK, Spain, Norway, Sweden, Germany, Australia, New Zealand; Båstrand 2015) shows that eight see this as an urgent problem to be solved; the exception being the U.S. Republican Party. I explore reasons for this anomaly.

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