Sunday, November 07, 2010

Climate hawks arise

As the talking heads have had almost a week to analyze last week's elections, I guess that I can put in my two cents worth. It should be as valid as the pontifications that I have heard.

The one thing that almost everyone agrees on is that action on climate is dead. Joe Romm's Climate Progress made that point clear.

California came out fairly well. AB32 seems safe until the next election. Still there is a lot of work to be done and Greens had better be in the forefront or we should change our name. If the Democrats do not have the gumption to act, then Greens are the only political voice left.

I ask you all to consider the oped that Bracken Hendricks wrote in the Washington Post today.
Many conservatives say they oppose clean-energy policies because they want to keep government off our backs. But they have it exactly backward. Doing nothing will set our country on a course toward narrower choices for businesses and individuals, along with an expanded role for government. When catastrophe strikes - and yes, the science is quite solid that it will - it will be the feds who are left conducting triage.
While Greens are motivated by many issues, there is none so wide reaching as this. Hendricks continues to outline many of the results of listening to the Tea Party, Glen Beck, Rush Limbaugh echo chamber.
This is just the beginning. If conservatives' rosy hopes prove wrong, who but the federal government will undertake the massive infrastructure projects necessary to protect high-priced real estate in Miami and Lower Manhattan from rising oceans? And what about smaller coastal cities, such as Galveston and Corpus Christi in Texas? Will it fall to FEMA or some other part of the federal government to decide who will move and when and under what circumstances? Elsewhere, with declining river flows, how will the Bureau of Reclamation go about repowering the dams of the Pacific Northwest?

And while we're busy at home, who will help Pakistan or Bangladesh in its next flood? What will the government do to secure food supplies when Russia freezes wheat exports? Without glaciers, what will become of Lima, Peru, a city dependent on melting ice for drinking water? Will we let waves of "climate refugees" cross our borders?
As Greens sort through the results of this election and plan our next steps, we would do well to seek candidates who can articulate both the ecological and economic arguments for saving us all. Maybe we should start listing homo sapiens as an endangered specie.

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