Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Poll: Indy Californians Still Support Climate Action | KQED's Climate Watch

Over the past decade, I have not been a staunch supporter of the League of Conservation Voters. This is strictly because they operate as the environmental caucus of the Democratic Party. However, I do have to thank them for conducting this poll, as reported by San Francisco's KQED's Climate Watch.

Poll: Indy Californians Still Support Climate Action | KQED's Climate Watch
Another finding was that a substantial majority (69%) agreed that “environmental regulations provide an important benefit to our society,” while 21% agreed with a statement that they do more harm than good. The approach of the survey was to offer two opposing statements on each matter and ask which one “comes closest to your own view.” These two environmental questions did not offer degrees of agreement, as did some others in the poll.
Over the past several years, there has been a steady stream of invective from the Republican Party proclaiming that the economy would recover by itself if we just got government out of the way, reduced all of those "unnecessary regulations" and gave industry it's way. Of course, you heat that again and again from those extractive industries: coal, oil, natural gas, mining. Yes, they do provide jobs now, but they also are rushing us like a runaway train into economic ruin.

Even though some in government seem to talk in agreement with this poll, the actions of many governments, especially the US, is out of step with the public perception. Grist's David Roberts wrote today about the "climate cognitive dissonance" between what science tells us is going to happen on our current path and the reaction of the markets to that information.

There is a major opportunity for Greens, especially those who have little faith in the markets to begin with, to actually use this for our own political ends. We should be calling attention to the fact that business as usual is taking on more risk that that which caused the dot-com bubble burst of the 1990's or the real estate mortgage melt down of the past 5 years. As Roberts points out:
Yet markets don't seem to be pricing those risks either! In fact, global markets don't seem to be taking climate change or climate policy seriously. Even if you don't care about that ecologically, it's alarming economically. It's a huge, unacknowledged, unhedged risk, and if we've learned anything in the past few years, it's that having huge, unacknowledged risks at the core of your economy is ill-advised.
This week, we watch in dismay, but not surprise, as the U. S. Congress fails once again to put aside politics and deal with issues of Medicare funding and tax fairness. If there was ever a time when we need issue oriented, future focused Greens in Congress, it is now.