By jef | July 27, 2012
We don’t usually get political at Amovens. But it’s no secret that we’re hugely preoccupied about the effects climate change will have on our civilization, since we know it’s already been fingered as the main culprit in the decline and fall of several earlier civilizations.
Of course, we don’t believe this should be a political issue at all, since the science is unambiguous and the threat level extremely high. But since a considerable percentage of the US political class has decided deny climate change’s very existence, much less its economy-crippling consequences, we think it’s worthwhile to imagine how the world might be different under a President Romney.
Romney surrogate Linda Stuntz, former deputy security of Energy under George H.W. Bush, says Romney isn’t a climate change denier.
Stuntz also says Romney has no intention of allowing the EPA to regulate carbon emissions. Everyone got that? The campaign acknowledges the existence of climate change, but either doesn’t believe it represents a clear and present danger to civilization, or just doesn’t care. Which to us seems a bit like saying “Yes, Mr. Revere, we know the British are coming. But it’s three in the morning for Pete’s sake.”
A Romney administration will also seek to end the tax credit for wind production companies, while “vastly” expanding domestic oil and gas production and approve the Keystone XL pipeline which, wait…huh? You’re going to cut support for the energy technologies of the future and back the industries that got us into this mess in the first place?
Sticking with our Revolutionary War analogy: “You want to fight the British with firearms, General Washington? I don’t think the government should be in the business of picking which weapons technologies will be most effective in the future. Here’s a rock and a pointy stick instead.”
So to conclude: Romney acknowledges the climate is changing. And he’s committed to exacerbating the problem.
We’re trying to come up with a more neutral phrase than “genocidally stupid” to describe this policy posture, but nothing comes to mind.
With regard to Romney’s actual views on environmental and energy policy…that’s a little harder to suss out. He opposes having the US commit to any carbon reduction:
“Kyoto-style sweeping mandates, imposed unilaterally in the United States, would kill jobs, depress growth and shift manufacturing to the dirtiest developing nations.”
But he made positive statements as governor of Massachusetts: “If the choice is between dirty power plants or protecting the health of the people of Massachusetts . . . I will always come down on the side of public health.” And then, in reference to regulating a coal plant: “I will not protect jobs that kill people. And that plant kills people.”
We suppose people can change. Perhaps Jason Alexander, the actor who played George Costanza on Seinfeld, had the best analysis of Romney: “Thrilled Gov. Romney enjoys my old character. I enjoyed the character he used 2 b 2. If he’d embrace that again, he’d b a great candidate.”