Year 4, Month 10, Day 15: If Pigs Could Fly, We’d All Have To Carry Really Big Umbrellas

Brian Dickerson writes in the Detroit Free Press about the chimerical Republican enlightenment on climate change:

But just a year later, Michigan environmentalists have been heartened by signs that politicians from both parties are coalescing around their key objective: increasing the state’s use of cleaner energy sources.

A draft report being circulated by the Michigan Public Service Commission says that, contrary to the dire warnings of electric utilities who opposed Proposal 3, the costs of generating renewable energy are plunging.

Produced at the behest of Gov. Rick Snyder, the PSC report says the surcharge that utilities have been levying on their customers to finance the transition to renewable power sources — such as wind and solar — could shrink to zero by 2014, “because project costs are, in some cases, essentially equivalent to conventional generation.”

“From a technical perspective,” the report adds, it would be possible for Michigan utilities to generate as much as 30% of their electricity from renewable fuels like wind and solar “from resources located within the state.”

I’ve got some swampland in Florida he should see. October 6:

It’d be great to see conservative politicians supporting clean energy and environmental responsibility. Once upon a time, there were pro-business Republicans who recognized that sensible public policies required, well, sense. But that was long ago; rejecting anything that smacks of expertise, today’s anti-intellectual GOP can’t solve even the most trivial policy problems. And climate change is no trivial problem, but the central issue of our time.

Republicans should embrace strategies for reducing greenhouse emissions, reinforcing infrastructure, and educating the public about the causes and consequences of climate change — but because their ideology defines itself in simple-minded opposition to everything “liberal”, they won’t. A recent study showed that conservatives eagerly bought CFL bulbs when they were labeled as money-savers, but rejected them if the packaging mentioned the environment.

Such doctrinal rigidity may lead the Republican Party to extinction. Let’s hope they don’t take the rest of humanity with them.

Warren Senders

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