Environmental activists shut down several major intersections in Washington, D.C., this morning to disrupt the nation’s capital with a call to action on climate change. The demonstration snarled commuter corridors throughout the city and frustrated the very right-wing activists who work with those who aggressively deny and oppose action on climate change.
Matt Whitlock, senior advisor for the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC), complained that tractor-trailer trucks were “forced to just sit there and idle while millennials (and middle-aged protestors in costumes) dance in the streets about the climate.” All Senate Republicans opposed Democrats’ “Green New Deal” legislation earlier this year.
Scott Pressler, a right-wing activist, suggested that those who care about the environment pick up trash in urban areas instead of blocking traffic in Washington. Pressler’s suggestion ignores the deeper systemic problems contributing to climate change: carbon emissions.
Kevin Glass, a policy advisor for the climate change denial group the Heartland Institute, mocked the protests.
Steve Milloy, another policy advisor to the Heartland Institute and a longtime climate change denier who served on the Trump EPA transition team, categorized the climate protesters as communists because one group had a sign that read “Capitalism is killing the planet.” Republicans often argue that regulations to protect the environment would cause inappropriate interference with the profits of the fossil fuel industry.
Heritage Action, the activist wing of The Heritage Foundation, also said that causing cars to idle on the road was a compelling argument against action calling for systemic overhauls to lessen climate change. The Heritage Foundation has received millions in funding from corporations in the energy industry and has taken a skeptical stance against climate science, according to DeSmog.
Matt Schlapp, the chair of the American Conservative Union, took the opportunity to peddle right-wing talking points, including one claim that it is scientifically proven that “Marxism never works.” The Conservative Political Action Conference hosted by ACU each year regularly houses gaggles of climate science deniers.
Jon Thompson, campaign communications worker for Vice President Mike Pence, didn’t think protesting was a “winning campaign strategy.” The Trump administration has dismantled 84 regulations and rules meant to protect the environment and curb climate change.
Jay Caruso, deputy editor of the Washington Examiner, expressed his frustration with his delayed commute to work. The Washington Examiner has published numerous stories expressing skepticism about climate change and attacking those who demand action on climate change.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Acting Director Ken Cuccinelli complained that protesters were outside of his office and accused the local police of passively supporting the protesters. Cuccinelli wrote, “Can you imagine any protest about any issue that is right of center where the police in Washington DC would just let you stop up traffic all over the city? Yeah, neither can I.” He has obviously not lived in Washington.