Year 4, Month 6, Day 16: I Ain’t Got Nobody That I Can Depend On

The Tampa Bay Times runs a remarkable document:

Editor’s note: A Yale University student from Miami and a fellow classmate have won the inaugural writing competition sponsored by the Energy & Enterprise Initiative founded by former U.S. Rep. Bob Inglis, R-S.C., at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va. Their winning essay, written in the form of a letter to U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., is in print for the first time here.

Dear Senator Rubio,

To many young conservatives like us, it seems that our politics has ridden roughshod all over our ideals. For no issue is this truer than climate change. We are counting on leaders like you to show the country that conservatives have responsible, pro-growth solutions to pressing challenges that young people care about. There is a generation of fiscally conservative Millennials who neither wish to inherit crushing debt nor an abused environment. You are one of the few conservative leaders capable of leading on this issue.

By leading on prudent climate solutions, we can defend and strengthen the free-market system that has produced so much prosperity for America and the world. We can reinvigorate the principle of personal responsibility that our communities require to thrive. And we can bolster America’s energy security.

Conservatives have rightly opposed many of the climate change proposals offered by the Left. But standing against bad policy does not require hiding from good science. We can’t govern responsibly by belittling America’s National Academy of Sciences (and all the other science academies on the planet). We can only govern responsibly by confronting the reality that we will be forced to spend big money dealing with the effects of climate change — money that won’t be invested in our communities, our schools, or our private enterprises.

Aren’t they just adorable? June 1:

In their hypothetical letter to Senator Rubio, Rafael Fernandez and Taylor Gregoire-Wright blithely assume that conservatives can address climate change responsibly and intelligently. Their naivete is touching; Rubio is, after all, the senator who couldn’t bring himself to publicly acknowledge what science tells us about the age of the universe for fear of offending the Young-Earth creationists in his constituency.

Yes, once upon a time there were pro-business Republican politicians who recognized that intelligently conceived public policy required, well…intelligence. But that was long ago. In its aggressively faux-populist anti-intellectualism, today’s GOP rejects anything that smacks of reason, logic, or expertise.

As long as the Republican party’s held hostage by the proudly ignorant, responsible solutions to even trivial problems are unlikely to emerge — and the climate crisis is anything but trivial. In their laudable advocacy of reality-based solutions to a genuine emergency, Fernandez and Gregoire-Wright sound suspiciously like (gasp!) liberals.

Warren Senders

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