Year 2, Month 6, Day 28: Doesn’t Sound Very Manly To Me, George…

New Hampshire is in a struggle between wise and witless:

CONCORD, N.H.—New Hampshire’s participation in a regional program designed to reduce carbon dioxide emissions is still up for debate in the Legislature despite the Senate sending legislation to the governor repealing the state’s law.

The Senate sent a bill to Gov. John Lynch that both ends New Hampshire’s participation in the program and also modifies the state’s shoreland protection law. Lynch promises to veto any bill that ends New Hampshire’s participation in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative. The Senate can’t override a veto repealing RGGI, but wants the shoreland protections.

But we all know what’s really going on. Sent June 13:

The Republican-dominated state government of New Hampshire is, typically and reflexively, against any state initiative which acknowledges the existence of human-caused climate change, or makes an effort to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions that are causing it. The recent bill ending the state’s participation in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative is a case in point. While the scientific consensus is overwhelming, and the evidence correlating planetary heating with an increase in extreme weather throughout our country and the world is accumulating ever more rapidly, Republicans have committed themselves to denying the reality in front of their eyes. It’s a positive step that Governor Lynch plans on vetoing their plans to drop out of the RGGI, which is on track to be one of the relatively few success stories in the complex history of America’s attempts to deal with the looming threats posed by global climate change.

Warren Senders

Year 2, Month 6, Day 9: Only Nixon Could Go To China?

Erstwhile climate zombie Chris Christie (NJ-GOV) has apparently seen the light. Or seen something, anyway. He’s simultaneously asserting that climate change is real (and anthropogenic!) while withdrawing New Jersey from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie announced plans yesterday to pull the Garden State out of the nation’s only operating cap-and-trade system, spurring environmental anger, conservative cheers and speculation about his national ambitions.

It also stirred confusion about the governor’s legal authority and what will happen to the carbon trading program, which caps utility carbon dioxide emissions in 10 Northeastern and mid-Atlantic states, at a time when national climate legislation appears dead on Capitol Hill.

At a news conference in Trenton, N.J., the Republican governor said he believed after months of study and meetings with scientists that humans were causing climate change and that his government needed to put policies in place to curb warming temperatures. That is a shift from last year, when Christie expressed doubts about the science behind global warming.

It’s a little like the joke about your mother-in-law driving off the cliff in your new Cadillac. Except that I love my mother-in-law, and Cadillacs (at least the ones I’ve driven) are overpriced and grotesque pieces of shit.

Sent May 27:

New Jersey’s Governor Christie’s sudden readiness to embrace climate facts while rejecting any climate action is a real headscratcher. The governor may be trying to appease environmentalists with a verbal gesture while mollifying his corporatist base with something more substantial. It’s barely possible that his withdrawal from the RGGI’s cap-and-trade policy will balance his acknowledgment of climate change with the paranoid and anti-science tea-partiers who hold the key to Republican primary success in 2012. It is a sad commentary on the state of our contemporary politics that a politician’s public recognition of a genuine threat to our civilization cannot be heard unless it’s couched in the cynical language of short-term political expediency. It would be splendid if Mr. Christie were able to convince the rabidly anti-science Republican base of the facts of climate change; even better would be the news that he’d succeeded in changing the minds of his corporate sponsors.

Warren Senders

Year 2, Month 3, Day 5: We Don’t Need No Steenkin’ Evidence!

The Nashua Telegraph (New Hampshire) discusses the move in that state to stop participating in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative. They’ve got climate zombies in the state house and misleading robo-calls from the Koch Brothers. What could possibly go wrong?

Americans for Prosperity, an conservative group with financial support from the oil industry, made automated robocalls over the long holiday weekend, attacking RGGI as guaranteeing further increases in electricity bills.

Studies had concluded that RGGI has added 6.5 cents per month to an average consumer’s bill.

Rep. Sandra Keans, D-Rochester, attacked AFP’s calls as “sleazy” and deliberately false.

“I have never seen such a cowardly perpetration pulled on the citizens of New Hampshire,” Keans said.

AFP Executive Director Corey Lewandowski defended the group’s lobbying against RGGI.

“Constituents should be able to call their elected officials to register a concern. Nobody forces people to run for office if they don’t want to hear from those who elected them,” Lewandowski said. “We’re delighted by the strong House vote for consumers.”

Rep. Beatriz Pastor, D-Lyme, said that even if there were questions about climate change science, it’s wise for the state to take preventive measures like RGGI.

“Noah got intelligence (that) a natural disaster was about to occur,” Pastor said of the Bibilical account. “He could have looked out the window and said ‘it doesn’t look like it is going to rain’.”

But Deputy Majority Leader Shawn Jasper of Hudson disagreed.
“Neither man nor cow is responsible for global warming,” he added.

Mr. Jasper seemed like an excellent hook upon which to hang a letter. Sent February 25:

Representative Shawn Jasper is an excellent example of an increasingly prevalent species of Homo Politicus: the “climate zombie,” a politician whose denial of the facts of global climate change is so ideologically rooted that no amount of factually-based argument will change his mind. Our nation used to regard scientists with respect; after all, they were responsible most of our major technological advances and noteworthy achievements (the Apollo program, anyone?). There should be nothing unusual about the idea that when you need expertise in a particular area, you ask experts and take their advice very seriously. But in the world of today’s Republican party, scientists are only to be listened to when their opinions are ideologically convenient. Representative Jasper’s pronouncement that “neither man nor cow is responsible for global warming” has no factual foundation, as author Kevin Landrigan could have ascertained with a few minutes’ worth of research. The fact that this “climate zombie” has been given an unrefuted last word in a supposedly objective article about the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative is an unfortunate dereliction of journalistic responsibility.

Warren Senders