Although no one can speak for another person, for someone who is representing others and particularly if someone is receiving any kind of benefit from representing those others, they will frequently make decisions that are not in the best interest of the planet, but in the interests of those demanding it immediately. Additionally, many people do not believe that climate change is driven by human actions, so if these politicians are hearing from constituents, the energy lobby, industry advocates or even some scientists, that climate change is not a big deal, or it’s something we cannot control, they will not get behind efforts to limit it. It’s easy to think that whoever doesn’t see things as you see it, or believe in what you believe, they are deliberately doing something evil, but it is usually far more complex than that (although sometimes – it’s just that 🙂
Not everyone believes in the climate change theory, including politicians.
Many conservative politicians see climate change as a scam perpetrated by pointy-headed academic “elites” who want everyone to bicycle to work and eat tofu and granola. In their ideology, capitalism can do no wrong and any restrictions on private enterprise are treated as threats to prosperity and individual liberty.
These beliefs are re-enforced by campaign contributions from the coal, oil, gas, and chemical industries affected by climate change regulations, and by slanted news reports from Faux News.
They site research that shows natural cycles of increasing and decreasing atmospheric CO2, but they fail to recognize the time scales involved. These changes occurred over tens of thousands of years, not 200 years. Life survived and adapted to these past changes because it had time to adjust. This time around, the changes are occurring too rapidly, and many organisms will not survive.
I would add to the excellent above answers that often efforts to curb climate change require change – sometimes system-wide change – which can be politically unpopular. Also, often wide-sweeping climate change laws require a larger government involvement in regulation, which tends to go against the conservative epistemology of small government.
We can see proof of this currently, with the republican-controlled House of Representatives attempting to pass a bill that would strip the EPA of its regulatory power completely.
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