On Friday’s episode of “All In With Chris Hayes,” the MSNBC host had harsh words for the GOP, who are threatening to drive the country into default to gut federal efforts to deal with climate change, while he also urged journalists “not to collude” with Republicans in their denialism over the global crisis.
Hayes began the segment talking about the latest horrifying example of how climate change is making the world more dangerous, like the unseasonal and unusually extreme wildfires in the Canadian wilderness currently sending massive amounts of smoke into the United States. He also touched on the recent news that scientists project we’ll have raised global temperatures to a potential climate change tipping point by 2027.
He noted how this growing crisis is “utterly and completely absent and ignored” by all of the Republican candidates vying for the 2024 nomination. “Republicans don’t care, truly don’t care if we melt the earth,” Hayes added. And from there, he tied this to the debt ceiling fight.
Hayes pointed out the various successes of the Inflation Reduction Act championed by President Joe Biden, which contained a significant amount of climate change-related policy shifts.
“Demand for tax credits for things like wind and solar projects, and electric cars are exceeding projections. We’re seeing real progress on energy transition for the first time. Sales of energy efficient heat pumps are now outpacing traditional fossil fuel furnaces in people’s homes. We may be about to get a huge boom in the use of hydrogen for industrial purposes, which is a game changers,” Hayes said.
But, Hayes continued, the problem of climate change “just doesn’t exist” for Republicans.
“Instead, what they do is go to bat on behalf of the fossil fuel companies to try to destroy the energy transition. That is what they’re doing right now,” he said, as a screenshot of news report entitled “Republicans take aim at Biden’s climate plan in debt ceiling fight” appeared onscreen.
“In this fight over the debt ceiling, their demand to repeal most of the new tax credits that make energy cheaper and cleaner, and to allow more drilling for fossil fuels, those are part of the demands of the house negotiators who briefly paused debt ceiling talks today to extract more leverage over the white house,” Hayes said.
He turned his attention to how journalists have been covering the debt ceiling fight: “The most pressing challenge in the world, the most important thing to have a position on and a plan for, Republicans have succeeded in rendering completely invisible in the number one political contest in the country. And I guess what I would say, is that I would urge fellow journalists, particularly political and campaign journalists, not to collude in that erasure.”
Watch the whole clip above.
Meanwhile, for those who aren’t up to speed, the debt ceiling refers to the limit, created by congress in 1917, of how much national debt the U.S. treasury is allowed to incur — which in turn affects how much existing debt can be paid off. Arguably a violation of the full faith and credit clause of the U.S. constitution, the rule requires Congress to authorize an increase every calendar year.
For most of its history, the ceiling was raised every year without incident. But starting in 1995, whenever Republicans have taken control of the House of Representatives during a Democratic presidency, they routinely threaten to let the country default on its debts unless Democrats agree to a rotating suite of right-wing demands, which is what is happening now.