In an interview with the Huffington Post at the 2016 Reason Rally, Bill Nye the 'Science Guy' argued that conservatives and Donald Trump are going to have to change their position on climate change at some point.
“Built into the system is change, and I think the conservatives are gonna have to change,” said Nye.
“I don’t think you can get elected to the U.S. presidency without a substantial number of millennial votes,” he went on. “I won’t be surprised if the guy running for president all the way down the ticket — if conservatives have an epiphany or a change of heart, or start telling a different story after the convention, because they need to engage some fraction of people your age.”
Sadly, this is most likely wishful thinking on Nye's behalf as there is little evidence today's Republicans will ever accept the science and get on board with trying to stop climate change. None of the major GOP candidates this election cycle accepted global warming, and Donald Trump has outlined his position definitively, denying its existence and pledging to do absolutely nothing about it should he get into office.
Nye is correct in stating Republicans won't be able to win without courting the millennial vote -- who overwhelmingly support action against climate change -- but he is wrong about them having a change of heart when the after the convention.
Why is this the case?
Firstly, millennials are hugely disengaged from the political system and don't vote (particularly for Republicans). And secondly, current Republican ideology simply does not allow them to acknowledge anything that contradicts the basic tenants of their beliefs.
Republicans believe in almost completely unfettered free market capitalism with as little government regulation as possible. Acknowledging climate change means altering the economic engine that is causing it -- namely capitalism itself. This would be akin to asking Christians to stop believing that Jesus Christ is their Lord and Savior. It just isn't going to happen, no matter how desperately they need votes from anyone not white, middle aged and male.
The truth is, the Republican Party can no longer be viewed as a political party -- it has been hijacked by an extremely dangerous insurgency that is laying waste to the basic principles of conservatism and is rapidly accelerating its complete dissolution. Donald Trump is basically the final act in its long, slow death, and we really have no idea how all of this will end. Donald Trump does not care about politics and he does not care about America. He cares about himself and promoting his toxic brand for as long as humanly possible. We know he is willing to destroy the party he pretends to be a part of, and we know he will wreck the machinations of American government should he get into power. Why then would he care about climate change?
While he may pretend to care about global warming after the convention this July, he is not going to propose anything concrete that would tackle it in any meaningful way. Because Donald Trump and modern conservatives cannot accept climate change on principle, and thus they consign themselves to the rubbish heap of history alongside the Republican Party they destroyed along the way.