Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney before President Donald Trump speaks to the media in the East Room of the White House on February 6, 2020 in Washington, D.C. (Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Mulvaney Says GOP Won't Act on Climate Crisis Because the Party Doesn't Want Taxes to Go Up

"Inaction is a choice that will force 'lifestyle changes,'" said one critic. "The water will come."

Jake Johnson

Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney said in a speech Wednesday night that Republicans won't act on the climate crisis because the party doesn't want to raise taxes or ask people to change their "lifestyle."

"We take the position in my party that asking people to change their lifestyle dramatically, including by paying more taxes, is simply not something we are interested in doing," Mulvaney said in response to a question on why the U.S. government is not doing more to combat the climate emergency.

The audience in attendance at the speech in the United Kingdom laughed at Mulvaney's response, according to an audio recording obtained by the Washington Post.

Nathan Richardson, a law professor at the University of South Carolina and a fellow at the non-profit research organization Resources for the Future, tweeted that Mulvaney and the GOP's position on climate "is increasingly a political loser."

"And it is naive and shortsighted: Inaction is a choice that will force 'lifestyle changes,'" Richardson added. "The water will come."

Another Twitter user put it more bluntly: "Drowning is also a lifestyle change."

Mulvaney, who in 2017 called federal spending on climate research "a waste of your money," questioned whether human activity is driving global temperature rises—despite the near-unanimous consensus among climate scientists.

The debate over climate in the U.S., said Mulvaney, is "less so as to whether or not it's happening, more so as to its causes."

The Hill reported Thursday that President Donald Trump's budget proposal for fiscal year 2021 calls for slashing "funding for the National and Regional Climate Adaptation Science Centers, eliminating all $38 million for research to help wildlife and humans 'adapt to a changing climate.'"

Joel Clement, senior fellow at the Center for Science and Democracy at the Union of Concerned Scientists, told The Hill that "the presidential budget is all about sending signals."

"The signal they're trying to send is: We do not value climate science," said Clement.


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.

Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. We don't survive on clicks. We don't want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do. Without Your Support We Simply Don't Exist.

'Sickening Betrayal': Panel Finds 83 Cases of Alleged Abuse During WHO's Ebola Work in Congo

"This is the biggest finding of sexual abuse perpetrated during a single U.N. initiative in one area or one country during the time-bound period of a U.N. response effort," said one campaigner.

Jessica Corbett ·


Activists Confront Pelosi at Fundraiser, Demanding She 'Hold the Line' on $3.5 Trillion Package

"Backtracking on this reconciliation bill means people will continue to die at the hands of the climate crisis," said one Sunrise Movement activist.

Brett Wilkins ·


Frustrated Tribal Leaders Urge Biden to Immediately Restore Bears Ears Monument

"We have tried to be patient and respectful as we await your decision on restoration. However, the longer action is not taken, real harm, much permanent, is occurring on this sacred landscape."

Brett Wilkins ·


Senate Urged to 'Finish the Job' After House Votes to End Cocaine Sentencing Disparity

"For 35 years, the sentencing disparity between crack and powder cocaine, based on neither evidence nor science, has resulted in higher sentences that are disproportionately borne by Black families and communities," said an ACLU attorney.

Julia Conley ·


Sanders Demands House Dems Vote Down Bipartisan Bill if Reconciliation Package Not Secured

"Physical infrastructure is important," said Sen. Bernie Sanders, "but the needs of working families and combating climate change is more important."

Kenny Stancil ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.


Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo