1. I think the “strange” term was used on purpose, because this strip is a general comment about the evolution of opportunistic politicians, and does not have anything (specific) to do with climate change at all.
    P.S. Germany saw a truly amazing bit of political evolution after the Fukushima disaster in Japan: the (normally conservative) Christian Democrats saw the handwriting on the wall, and did a 180-degree about-face on the issue of nuclear power in just a matter of days. Before the “Green” party had issued any sort of relevant policy statement, Angela Merkel’s “CDU” party had already claimed the issue as their own, and was esposing the shutdown of all nuclear power plants in Germany. The liberals never had a chance to make any headway with this topic, all they could do was follow in Merkel’s wake.

  2. I agree with Kilby/Oliver, “environmental change” is fine, and here means any changes in the environment, rather than climate change.

    As for the joke, it’s just a standard “politicans are so sleazy and unethical joke.” One day thay’ll be angrily railing against cheese subsidies, and then when the new polls come in showing how much everyone love cheese, they’ll be shouting nonstop about how much we need more cheese subsidies. (A politican changing their position as the enviroment changes could also be an appropriate response to new information, or developing their position as they think more about an issue, but we’re not supposed to think about those possibilities.)

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