Year 4, Month 11, Day 12: Like A Second Marriage

In the Asbury Park Press, CCL’s Joseph Robertson reaffirms the triumph of hope over experience:

There is deep and lasting trauma, reasonably rooted in lived experience along the coastal areas of our region, from the impact of superstorm Sandy. Some towns worry they need to be integrated into neighboring municipalities if they cannot rebuild or attract new investment. Homeowners and business owners are determined to rebuild, but face daunting obstacles.

Congress has not been eager to provide the disaster relief funding promised. Leaders focused on solving problems have found fissures that run along party lines can be a great obstacle to progress for real people.

There are a number of seasoned, rational, service-oriented conservatives in New Jersey, who are in a unique position to open a new way through the ideological divisions holding us back. For a long time, conservatives have been pressured to refuse to respond to the need for climate change mitigation policy (like a price on carbon emissions or a cap on overall emissions). Sandy made that position all but untenable for anyone representing real people facing real and unprecedented problems. Those conservatives who understand the problem, and who are willing to lead, can now do so in a new context.

The fifth consensus report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change — a strict, detailed and conclusive examination of scientific evidence endorsed even by oil-dependent nations like Saudi Arabia and Iran — has answered many of the most pressing questions posed by climate policy skeptics. The science is now settled, the evidence is clear and the report shows we have already burned through half of global civilization’s lifetime carbon fuel budget.

Tea-partiers. The apotheosis of vicious stupidity. November 2:

Joseph Robertson’s plea for “climate skeptics” to support a carbon tax is a sensible and well-crafted argument built on common sense, scientific reality, and a nuanced understanding of conservative values. That is to say, it doesn’t have a snowball’s chance in hell of persuading those now controlling the conservative movement and the Republican party.

Today’s GOP is not the party of Lincoln. It’s not the party of Eisenhower. It’s not the party of Richard Nixon or Ronald Reagan, but of ideologically-driven fanatics who fear and detest scientific expertise.

In a political environment where a plurality of primary voters still cling to bizarre birther notions and zombie conspiracy theories, even acknowledging the existence of climate change is electoral suicide. Unlike, say, the human causes of global warming, the idea that “seasoned, rational, service-oriented conservatives” will risk their careers for the good of the planet has — unfortunately — no supporting evidence whatsoever.

Warren Senders

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