Year 3, Month 10, Day 26: I Wouldn’t Have Smoked In Bed If We Hadn’t Installed Those Smoke Detectors!

Not that this is news or anything, but the New York Times’ David Brooks is an utter idiot:

The period around 2003 was the golden spring of green technology. John McCain and Joe Lieberman introduced a bipartisan bill to curb global warming. I got my first ride in a Prius from a conservative foreign policy hawk who said that these new technologies were going to help us end our dependence on Middle Eastern despots. You’d go to Silicon Valley and all the venture capitalists, it seemed, were rushing into clean tech.

From that date on the story begins to get a little sadder.

Al Gore released his movie “An Inconvenient Truth” in 2006. The global warming issue became associated with the highly partisan former vice president. Gore mobilized liberals, but, once he became the global warming spokesman, no Republican could stand shoulder to shoulder with him and survive. Any slim chance of building a bipartisan national consensus was gone.

Then, in 2008, Barack Obama seized upon green technology and decided to make it the centerpiece of his jobs program. During his presidential campaign he promised to create five million green tech jobs. Renewable energy has many virtues, but it is not a jobs program. Obama’s stimulus package set aside $90 billion for renewable energy loans and grants, but the number of actual jobs created has been small. Articles began to appear in the press of green technology grants that were costing $2 million per job created. The program began to look like a wasteful disappointment.

Federal subsidies also created a network of green tech corporations hoping to benefit from taxpayer dollars. One of the players in this network was, again, Al Gore. As Carol Leonnig reported in The Washington Post last week, Gore left public office in 2001 worth less than $2 million. Today his wealth is estimated to be around $100 million.

I’m going to stop doing facepalms and start doing headbricks, I swear. Sent October 19:

As the evidence accumulates all around us, and the scientific consensus reaches near unanimity, we’re going to hear more conservatives acknowledge the reality of global climate change. But because it involves admitting error, this process will involve them in a lot of blame-shifting, equivocating, and historical revisionism. David Brooks offers us a preview of what this will look in his attempt to hold Al Gore responsible for the American epidemic of climate-change denial.

Apparently Mr. Gore couldn’t attract conservative support because he was too…shrill? Too popular among hippies? Too right, too soon? Mr. Brooks blithely ignores both the GOP’s decades-long antipathy to science and their pathological hyper-partisanship in his eagerness to avoid responsibility for what his own ideological allies have wrought. Now that climate change itself is irrefutable, the locus of denial has shifted: Republicans would have done something about climate change, but those pesky environmentalists were in the way.

Warren Senders

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