Month 9, Day 13: La la la, la la la, la la la…

Not sure how Californians feel about people from the other side of the country meddling in their local elections, but I sent this to the LA Times anyhow, after reading the following:

Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer said Friday that rival Carly Fiorina’s recent embrace of a November ballot measure that would roll back the state’s landmark global warming law was evidence that the Republican was “in the pocket of big oil” and “dirty coal.”

With California’s unemployment rate at 12.3%, the three-term senator and Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jerry Brown have argued that the state’s 2006 global warming law, which would cut greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels over the next decade, will play a crucial role in creating jobs and stimulating the green energy sector in California.

The ballot measure, which has been largely bankrolled by three oil companies based outside of California, would suspend the law until unemployment reaches 5.5% for a year — a rare occurrence historically. If Proposition 23 succeeds, Boxer argued Friday, California would lose its edge in industries such as wind and solar to other nations.

Meanwhile, Carly Fiorina blathers:

The state’s global warming law “isn’t the right answer,” Fiorina said in Mill Valley. Instead, she said, Congress should pass “a national, rational energy policy” that motivates innovation in “clean, green” technologies as well as “environmentally responsible exploration and exploitation of every source of energy that we have.”

I agree, Congress should pass such a policy, and it’ll happen…in the year 2200, when all human presence has been uploaded into the digital domain because we no longer have a planet to live on. Personally, I’d like to see California (and all the rest of the states) do something rational in the meantime.

Anyway…

Carly Fiorina is absolutely right. California’s current global warming law “isn’t the right answer.” But she misses the point, which is that the right answer is policies that are firmly based in environmental reality. While there are no doubt inadequacies in the current law, California currently leads the country when it comes to science-based climate/energy policy. On the other hand, Barbara Boxer’s assessment of her opponent is exact and irrefutable: Fiorina is definitely in the enormous pockets of the most environmentally irresponsible corporations in the world (the same ones bankrolling the campaign for Proposition 23). As a Massachusetts resident, I can only remark from the sidelines that getting a senator whose approach to climate/energy legislation consists of sticking her fingers in her ears and shouting “la la la la la la — I can’t hear you!!” would be a shame for California, for the nation, and for the world.

Warren Senders

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