Wednesday, October 24, 2007

When will they ever learn

When I was growing up in Arizona, two of our political leaders were Steward Udall and Barry Goldwater. While they differed on most things, they both had a basic understanding of the relationship of man to nature. Goldwater was a conservative who understood the conservative and conservation have the same derivation.

Goldwater was a very conservative Republican. It was the Republican party of Pete McCloskey and Lincoln Chaffee (RI) both of whom have strong environmental credentials and both of whom have left the Republican Party. It is a very different Republican Party from the one that I new and the fact that McCloskey and Chaffee have both left is a sign of just how far it has changed.

Today, the California Republican Party is filled with the likes of Bill Maze and Tom McClintock. They are a different breed all together. They have none of the vision that earned McCloskey appointment as Co-Chair of the very first Earth Day.

I note today that Maze has been meeting with Inyo County Supervisors to urge their support for Schwarzeneggers $9 Billion dubious project for new dams, new canals and little gain. In Maze's view,
Unfortunately, the state’s current water storage systems are at capacity and simply cannot be relied upon to provide enough water to meet growing demand from increased population, industry and agriculture, he said. Only new dams and reservoirs and added groundwater recharge can add to the state’s water supplies.
“But some people just don’t get it.”
That is in stark contrast to the view of Dorothy Green in a recent LA Times Op Ed.
For all the doom and gloom about water in California, here's a surprising truth: California has enough water to meet its needs today and tomorrow without new dams, peripheral canals or catastrophic costs. But there is a rub. It will take political will and better management.
Maybe Maze is the one who just doesn't get it.

McClintock, on the other hand, appears not to "get it" about global warming. In a speech before the Western Conservative Political Action Conference in Newport Beach this month, McClintock leveled a blast at just about everyone. Then, he posted it on his own blog. The litany of accusations is pure Karl Rove. First he makes sure that his audience thinks of the as the "liberal elite who jet to environmental conferences in Gulfstream Fives". Then he goes after those who would not allow brush to be cut from around houses in fire prone areas but never mentions the fact that maybe we should not build in fire prone area, like Tahoe or the foothills East of San Diego.

The, he produces facts that no scientist has very verified and argues from that point.
And finally the third inconvenient question: If global warming is caused by YOUR SUV, why is it that increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide always follow increases in global temperatures by several hundred years, indicating that CO2 is a byproduct of increasing temperatures – not a cause.
I would have expected as much from Oklahoma Sen. James Inhofe but thought that McClintock was a bit more honest than that. I guess not.

With all of this coming from leading politicians who supposedly have the interests of their constituents at heart, it is little wonder that we find results of polls like that conducted by the Antelope Valley Press and blogged at Aquafornia.
Recently, the Antelope Valley Press did an unofficial survey, and asked its readers if they were willing to curb their water usage in order to save the smelt. The results were 26% yes, 74% no.
McClintock will leave the State Senate this year, having reached his term limit. It is not too soon. Maybe this is his attempt to maintain some relevance in the Conservative movement, he does end it with a call for a return to a past that never was.
And at that moment, we will see a new political awakening and a new political realignment in California, and before you know it, we’ll be living once again in Reagan Country.
The California Green Party has a lot to do in re-educating a public that has listened to too much Tom McClintock and Michael Savage, who has been presented with "Don" Perata as the alternative while the Don is only selling protection.

I keep coming back to the idea that the only way to work through these problems is the Green way. We need all to be speaking out, now and continuously against the likes of McClintock and his pseudo science, against the 19th Century exploitation of nature that Maze calls for. The only good thought is that with leaders like McClintock, so out of touch with reality, the California Republican Party is not likely to ever return to Reagan Country.

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