February is the shortest month of the year, but that doesn't mean there wasn't time for the Republican self-greenwash campaign to land an op-ed in the Washington Examiner claiming that "conservatives can lead on conservation and climate solutions." Sure they can, but is there any evidence that they have, or ever will?
No, and no honest evidence to the contrary is offered in this op-ed co-authored by Benji "how can I make tea?" Backer, someone from Koch/Exxon/etc-funded climate denial front group PERC, someone from C3Solutions (which is sending denier Nicolas Loris to be the GOP's witness for Wednesday's congressional budget hearing on wildfires), and the president of ConservAmerica, one of the oldest groups to pretend the GOP will protect the people over polluters.
As we've tracked, the mostly Faison-funded GOP greenwashing effort has been successful in changing how some Republicans talk about climate, kicking things into high gear to mobilize against the Green New Deal. They have admittedly made some progress in getting the GOP's hardline pro-fossil-fuel agenda to appear more moderate to voters who would prefer not to burn alive in a fiery hellscape sponsored by ExxonMobil. But they haven't actually gotten any elected Republicans anywhere to support any policy that would actually address the primary cause of climate change: burning fossil fuels.
That's not to say they haven't been influential. It's just that their target audience of environmentally-minded conservatives would rather murder people of color than support real climate policy, which is why we shouldn't militarize climate change.
Case in point is a recent Federalist story, complaining about an Anti-Defamation League report showing that 25 out of 25 of American extremism-related murders in 2022 were committed by right-wing extremists. The Federalist’s John Lott Jr. considered the report "fatally flawed" because "it assumes that every racist is automatically a 'right-winger.'" To prove his contention, he points to the fact that the mass murderer who targeted Black people in Buffalo was "anything buy a 'right-winger'" because he was "motivated by environmentalism."
Lott then quotes the "eco-fascist national socialist" killer's manifesto (ew) as though "fascist national socialist" wasn't a giveaway that the killer was, in fact, right wing.
Lott's other example was the Colorado Springs killer, who attacked an LGBTQ+ bar. Despite the murderer hosting a "white supremacist" website, Lott said he's not a right-winger because the killer claimed to use they/them pronouns, "hardly something done by most conservatives," unless they're trolling.
Then Lott has to dip into past years, and again comes up with an eco-fascist who was rabidly anti-immigrant and voraciously consumed right-wing anti-immigrant media, but totally was left-wing because his racism was supposedly rooted in "a crazy environmentalist determination to reduce the human population by whatever means necessary" which "echoes politicians on the left, not the right."
Does it though? Or does it just take the left-bashing environmental messaging of supposedly climate-concerned conservative groups, and fit it squarely within the racist right-wing ideology of white supremacy, something that the aforementioned groups also play into?
We certainly have thoughts, but this seems like a question for the people regularly writing about how conservatives should care about the climate but not enough to reduce emissions. They should probably figure this out before someone in their target audience goes on another racist shooting spree.