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Romney: Fossilized Ideas in a Climate of Change

cap and trade, renewable energy, green jobsMass appeal wins votes, not the truth.

Massachusetts Governor, Mitt Romney, professed a surprisingly different set of core values compared with those of the Romney who would be President. As governor, Romney aggressively supported the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and championed renewable energy. He also worked to close aging coal-fire power plants, and readily endorsed wind and solar energy.

In a cynical effort to appeal to a wider pool of Conservative voters, Romney now renounces the pro-environment reforms that defined his  career as governor.

As a new hero for status quo stagnation, Mitt recently opposed a landmark EPA environmental regulation designed to control mercury and other toxic air pollution from power plants.

Mitt Romney campaigns for a way of life in a world that no longer exists.

Romney has reinvented himself as the Ron Popeil of fossil fuels, touting them as our best bet to stimulate  economic growth. Few people argued with this thinking fifty years ago, but our collective carbon footprint has created massive environmental damage that could jeopardize our very existence.

When challenged for rejecting his pro-environment accomplishments to hustle policies that release huge amounts of greenhouse gas emissions, Romney keeps it simple. Our national consumption amounts to an “energy appetite,” which can be solved by an “energy diet.” The terms make a good soundbite while proposing nothing to ensure a healthy planet for future generations.

Warning: Earth is becoming a biohazard.

This week, panelists from the Rio+20 environmental summit offered a warning concerning the state of our planet:

“The combined effects of climate change, resource scarcity, loss of biodiversity and ecosystem resilience at a time of increased demand, poses a real threat to humanity’s welfare. There is an unacceptable risk that human pressures on the planet, should they continue on a business as usual trajectory, will trigger abrupt and irreversible changes with catastrophic outcomes for human societies and life as we know it.”

No apology and no awareness

Two years ago, Mitt Romney published “No Apology: The Case For American Greatness,” in preparation for Campaign 2012. Romney’s political message targets a wide Conservative base, articulating the Republican candidate’s  views regarding our military, economy,  foreign policy and our environment.

At the time of publication, Romney pays lip service to environmental issues through porous   statements that betray a man grasping to express ecological sophistication, while rejecting the green reforms he worked so hard to initiate.

Eagerly pandering to his party’s anti-regulatory sentiment, Mitt writes in vague, simplistic terms regarding climate change, never advocating sustainable solutions such as renewable energy, green jobs, or green technology. Upon his assumption as the Republican presidential nominee, Mitt’s anti-environment rhetoric  grew horns, and began attacking green initiatives as a threat to good business.

Recently, Romney led his campaign on a bus tour through six states that boast a combined force of almost half a million green jobs, whose diverse sectors include wind and solar power, green buildings, land conservation and waste-to-energy. Inexplicably, Mitt continues to attack renewable energy companies, while describing green jobs as “illusory.”

Romney’s politics and policies honor business as usual, and harken back to a bygone era before the concept of environmentalism entered our active vocabulary. Even as our world leaders struggle to win consensus for repairing a planet headed for disaster, Mitt Romney swims in denial.

Four Excerpts from No Apology reveal a very flexible sense of conviction.

Source: No Apology, by Mitt Romney, p.227 , Mar 2, 2010

Yes, humans may in fact have something to do with climate change.

“I believe that climate change is occurring–the reduction in the size of global ice caps is hard to ignore. I also believe that human activity is a contributing factor.”

In 2003, Governor Romney promoted the triumph of his state’s Cap and Trade policies, and boasted that he made good on his promise to clean up harmful carbon pollution, declaring he would not create jobs or hold  jobs that kill people.

“I am uncertain how much of the warming, however, is attributable to man and how much is attributable to factors out of our control. I do not support radical feel-good policies like a unilateral US cap-and-trade mandate. Such policies would have little effect on the climate but could cripple economic growth.”

How can we describe Romney’s new position as defender of non-renewable energy? For one, we need to harvest more fossil fuels because green energy cripples economic growth. And while we can’t know for certain, our hunger for fossil fuels may somehow affect global warming. Still, we may easily resolve climate change boo boos by consuming less fossil fuel. My head hurts.

“Oil is purported to be one of the primary contributors to rising global temperatures. If in fact global warming is importantly caused by our energy appetite, it’s yet one more reason for going on an energy diet.”

A planetary geekdom of scientists decries global warming, and serves up mountains of empirical proof that fossil fuel emissions cause environmental disaster. But these guys may yet have it all wrong, especially since geological data reveals that Earth has endured warmer temperatures. In fact, in its infancy our planet existed as a giant molten rock of boiling magma, whose surface temperature averaged 1800°C, under atmospheric gases dominated by carbon dioxide and water vapor. Of course, nothing lived back then either.

“Scientists are nearly unanimous in laying the blame for rising temperatures on greenhouse gas emissions. Of course there are also reasons for skepticism. The earth may be getting warmer, but there have been numerous times in the earth’s history when temperatures have been warmer than they are now.”

Related Articles

Mitt Romney worked to combat climate change as governor (latimes.com)

Energy Etch A Sketch: NY Times Editorial on Mitt Romney (sustainablebusiness.com)

Activists hail success of Twitter storm against fossil fuel subsidies (guardian.co.uk)

Ending Fossil Fuel Subsidies Will Save Taxpayers Billions Every Year (treehugger.com)

The top five things voters need to know about conservatives and climate change (grist.org)

Does Mitt Romney Get Energy? (solarfeeds.com)

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4 comments on “Romney: Fossilized Ideas in a Climate of Change

  1. Actually the scientists have not unanimously agreed that Global warming is coming from our emissions. John Coleman is the meteorologist who founded the Weather Channel and he has extensive knowledge on weather, climates and changes. He says its a warming trend, like the ice age was a cooling trend. It has done that many times in the history of the earth. And the “climate of change” you spoke of is swirling down the toilet. I like going green, but I don’t agree that its our fault that the polar icecaps are melting some, and if what Mr Romney is working on helps us get out of this economic depression, then we will have the money to work on making things greener later. But if we lose our homes because of the “Changes” that are being made now, how will that help our economy? Or our country?

    • I don’t think the greenies care what happens to our economy or to our country. They were perfectly happy to bring in Cap&Trade last year, which meant that eventually we would all become carbon traders. We were to be issued carbon credit cards and carbon trading would be the major part of our economy.

      read it here http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/politics/6167671.stm

      They were also happy to have our President sign the UN’s Climate Treaty which would mean that the UN would become the worlds government. This would mean that instead of our president actually being the driver of our bus, he’d just be schleping bags for the UN rulers. Over my dead body.

      • Hi Klem,

        Don’t forget that Governor Romney was an unrepentant “Greenie” who promoted Cap and Trade, green jobs, and renewable energy as major programs to revitalize the Massachusetts economy. California’s cap-and-trade policy will soon partner with Quebec with plans to include Australia. Carbon emissions trading will bring billions of dollars to State coffers, much of which will go to programs to develop green jobs, green technology, biofuels, and alternative energy sources. Cap and trade made its way into legislation through free-market Conservatives who gladly worked with environmentalists to reach a compromise that would reduce carbon emissions through the free market, without the burden of strict regulatory oversight. Cap and Trade has been the golden boy of conservative and liberals alike until recently.

        Here’s a great article offering a historical overview of Cap and Trade’s evolution into a major policy with global implications:

        http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/Presence-of-Mind-Blue-Sky-Thinking.html

        I can understand why folks might have misgivings about the United Nations as an increasingly impotent organization. On the other hand,
        America has far more to fear from its continued loss of competitiveness in a global economy than it does from crazy U.N. bus drivers.

        Oh, this is my stop. Gotta go.

        Jay

    • Hi Sis,

      You should consider reading online magazines such as Discovery, National Geographic, New York Times, and The Guardian. You won’t find a
      large consensus of scientists who deny the existence of global warming. New studies hit the media all the time with proof
      of the negative effects of greenhouse gasses, depleted ozone, melting ice caps, dying species, and erratic weather patterns.
      If you don’t feel like reading, just look at the pictures. Authoritative news sources sure as heck don’t quote “the weather guy”
      as a credible source for for scientific dissent. Fortunately, scientists are no longer imprisoned for publishing empirical evidence
      regarding our natural world.

      You should also look into Romney’s record as governor of Mass. As a huge proponent of Cap and Trade, he publicly vilified coal-powered
      plants as major producers of carbon emissions. Romney has jettisoned everything he stood for to get his shot at the nomination. He speaks
      for the hyper-conservative fringe lately, but he’s also careful not to offend moderate Republicans. Consequently, Romney takes heat from
      Republicans and Democrats for a political past he now renounces, and regular criticism for policies he and his advisers won’t clearly articulate.

      As governor, Romney helped legislate programs to promote green jobs, renewable energy, individual healthcare, and cleaner air. As president, Romney will
      dismiss such programs, raise military spending, cut taxes for the rich, and compensate by cutting programs for the middle class and the poor. I
      don’t know how that could possibly help you. Remember, Romney’s corporate career focused on making profit, not jobs. He made millions buying up
      companies and putting a lot of people out of work. He will never become the “jobs” president.

      Please don’t take any of this personally. I read quite a bit about these issues. I still haven’t figured out why voters cast their ballots for
      candidates who make life easy for the rich while gutting social programs for the middle and lower classes.

      Love,

      Jay

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