Opinion | The Bad Economics of Fossil Fuel Defenders

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Global warming is fake news. Anyway, it isn’t man-made. And doing anything about it would destroy the economy.

Opponents of action against climate change have always relied on multiple lines of defense: If one argument for doing nothing becomes unsustainable, they just retreat to another.

That’s what we’re seeing now, as conservatives argue against the Biden administration’s push for climate-friendly public investment. As it happens, this push is taking place against a background of unprecedented heat waves, huge forest fires, severe drought in some places and catastrophic flooding in others — phenomena that scientists have long warned would become more common as the planet gets hotter.

Given these events, as The Times recently reported, Republicans have toned down their climate denial — in some cases pretending that they never denied the science in the first place. Thus Senator James Inhofe, author of 2012’s “The Greatest Hoax: How the…

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