Climate Week En Review June 29, 2018
Bonjour! Oh wait, that was last week. Re-entry was hard but the EcoRight kept me busy, if not a little misty-eyed this week.
This week's must read: Two newspapers in significant districts editorialized on climate change, highlighting free-market solutions and members of the EcoRight, including Wisconsin's Rep. Matt Gallagher, a member of the House Climate Solutions Caucus. From the Wisconsin State Journal: "Another way to impose a tax on carbon emissions without hurting ordinary people is to steer the revenue back to the public, perhaps in the form of a rebate or tax credit that's based on carbon use. The less carbon burned, the bigger the check or credit. Making sure any carbon tax is 'revenue neutral'—so the proceeds from any tax doesn't turn into a slush fund for unrelated government spending—is the best way to build support." The Winston-Salem Journal in North Carolina likewise noted: "we need not choose between environmental protection and economic growth. Both are possible if we're smart."
This week's must listen gave us all the feels: The son of Miami's mayor persuaded him to take action on sea-level rise. Maybe it's my own pre-dawn conversations over coffee with my 16-year old son or the story of Bob Inglis's son telling him to "clean up his act" on the environment to secure his vote, but I fell hard for this account of the son of former Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado talking to his dad about the urgency of acting on climate change.
Climate changer disputers are actually innovation pessimists: In another wise installment from Bob Inglis, he explores the root of denialism. "Overwhelmed by the scale of the problem, they assume that we can't change our trajectory. Secretly, they're depressed about it. They need hope."
Throwback Thursday: Senator John McCain earned the label maverick for a number of bold positions, but in EcoRight circles he is most hailed for his original and ongoing work on climate change. In 2003, he teamed up with then-Senator Joe Lieberman, a Democrat (now Independent) from Connecticut for the Climate Security Act of 2003, otherwise known as the "McCain-Lieberman bill," which earned six Republican yea votes on the Senate floor but was defeated 55-43. Two years later, they tried again with a modified version of the bill, but lost Democratic support for the inclusion of incentives for nuclear power. In 2008, when running for President, McCain touted his climate change work in this campaign ad:
Those certainly were the good ole days.
The twenty percent: The ever-growing House Climate Solutions Caucus, which added four lawmakers to its ranks last week, just added two more members. Kentucky Republican Rep. Brett Guthrie joined delegation mate Rep. John Yarmuth in coming on board the bipartisan climate club, brining total membership up to 84, nearly 20 percent of the entire U.S. House of Representatives. Guthrie said in a statement: "After meeting with several constituents, including members of the Kentucky Citizens' Climate Lobby, and hearing their perspective on environmental policy, I decided to join the bipartisan Climate Solutions Caucus. I look forward to representing Kentucky in this Caucus and working with my colleagues from both sides of the aisle to look at this issue." The two coal-state members together expand the geographical reach of the caucus. Caucus co-founder Rep. Carlos Curbelo had this to say: "Now 84 Members strong, the Climate Solutions Caucus is evidence there is a growing, diverse, and bipartisan coalition of Members of Congress willing to put partisan stereotypes aside to work toward meaningful solutions to the challenges posed by sea level rise and climate change. We have a responsibility to our constituents and future generations to present a united front to combat anti-climate policies and to have a productive, fact-based dialogue about market-oriented solutions, investments, and innovations that could mitigate the effects of climate change and make our nation more resilient. By joining the Caucus, new Members are showing a willingness to answer the call of their constituents and be a part of the solution to this issue."
Why these young Republicans see hope in climate change: This Christian Science Monitor profile delves into the climate divide between young Republicans and older voters "We're having some sort of negative impact on the environment, and I believe it's our responsibility to alleviate any negative impacts we're having, and to be proactive while we can rather than reactive when it's too late," says Emily Collins, executive board member of Texas Christian University's College Republicans and member of Students for Carbon Dividends. "I think that younger people care about it more, because we are seeing the effects it's having," she says of climate change.
Team Climate Jester: This week's climate jester designation goes to a slate of House of Representatives candidates in Tennessee trying to out hoaxter each other in a race to the bottom. When climate change came up at a recent forum, the following happened: State Rep. Jimmy Matlock declared "this climate change religion that's been thrown at us is fake news." Republican candidate Vito Sagliano said "nothing can be done" because what we're really seeing is a shift in the Earth's magnetic field. David Stansberry asserted that the hole in the ozone fixed itself. (Related: Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher rolled over in their graves.) Greg Samples, a libertarian running as an independent, focused his answer on the shift from global warming to climate change. Independent candidate Jeffrey Grunau said he hadn't seen the data, an answer almost as bad as "I'm not a scientist, but..." Needless to say, Team Climate Jester is batting 0.00. Thankfully the Tennessee delegation has rational clean energy and climate leaders in Sen. Lamar Alexander and Sen. Bob Corker.
Save Blockbuster Video: To end with a bit of humor, watch this Arnold Schwarzenegger video letter to President Donald Trump. "Take it from the Terminator. You're only supposed to go back in time to save future generations."
I know the 80s were great for both of us, @realDonaldTrump. But when it comes to energy, our country needs to look forward, not backward. Let's focus on saving the miners, not the coal industry. pic.twitter.com/ISdbGUHm2K
— Arnold (@Schwarzenegger) June 28, 2018
As we head into the weekend, ask yourself what small (or big) thing you can do to make a difference. Every little bit counts. Thanks, EcoRight!