Thursday, August 30, 2012

Raymond on Ryan and Romney

Raymond Pierrehumbert scores the top slot on Slate over Paul Ryan's climate denialism and general simplistic view on climate and the environment.  A great read in general but I'll focus on this:

One of the little fantasies that many of us progressives use to fend off the nightmare of a Romney win in November is the idea that he has flip-flopped so much on his way to a presidential candidacy that maybe once in office he'd flop back to the old Romney and give us a Nixon-in-China moment on climate change. There may have been fat chance of that, but with the choice of Paul Ryan as his running mate, even that illusory comfort is denied to us.
Yep.  I didn't really have that fantasy for a President Romney, but we have seen a small number of Republicans who started acknowledging climate reality once they're away from office.  A defeated candidate Romney, I thought, might make the switch.  I still wouldn't rule it out sometime for him, but it will take years.

The one I've wondered about is whether a President McCain would've done what candidate McCain promised.  While it wasn't as good as Obama's cap-and-trade, it would be better than what we've got.  OTOH we've already run a movie version of that with candidate Bush in 2000 promising to regulate CO2 as a pollutant if elected.

We'll never find out what McCain really would've done, but the contrast in this election could hardly be clearer.  One party has done something, if not enough, and the other is disastrous.

Still, we will have to have either a change to weaken the Senate filibuster, a climate disaster, or some sitting Republican senators willing to do the right thing before we can get a real national climate policy.  It won't be easy.


12 comments:

Anonymous said...

Maybe we should console ourselves with the memory that Cheney/Bush cut CO2 emissions at the end of their term by engineering an economic collapse. Ryan/Romney are equally incompetent and inherit a far more fragile economy.

Love to all the bunnies, Millicent.

EliRabett said...

FWIW, Eli always said that the Obama administrations approach to climate issues would be through the EPA, leaving the Congress with a Hobson's choice

Anonymous said...

Well color me stoopid, that is why they call me "Hey Stoopid".

"Not exactly rocket science, You don’t have to look far for instances of people lying to themselves."

link; http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/notrocketscience/2011/03/07/people-don’t-know-when-they’re-lying-to-themselves/

dbostrom said...

The GOP has created a jumbo-size version of the same problem Watts made for himself, a positive feedback loop of lunacy. The crazier the platform, the more crazies the party attracts and then must satisfy, and the more the rest of us want to run away.

After a certain point, the only way "forward" is toward Bedlam.

J Bowers said...

Mitt caught lying by a Rolling Stone FOI request.


"Under a section called "Fixing Businesses," the campaign lays out the legend of Romney's 1990 return to the consulting firm Bain & Company, describing his turnaround effort there as an "incredible success" that returned the firm to profitability "in just a year."

Here's the hard truth: Romney's turnaround effort at the consulting firm was a fiasco. In fact, Bain & Company was only rescued from the brink of collapse by the federal government. In 1993, the FDIC agreed to wipe away more than $10 million it was owed by Romney's firm because it believed that "the company will fail if the debt is not modified.""

Russell said...

R&R can't compare with the coolest republicans of the past

The great politicians are those that get elected without giving the electorate much reason to vote for them.

Marion Delgado said...

I think those of us who frequent realclimate.org can appreciate Ray Pierrehumbert for his rare combination of qualities: he's unfailingly polite, and always gives the benefit of the doubt, even when he's gently chiding a (University, not discipline) colleague. At the same time he's technically savvy about climate issues to a rare degree even for climate-relevant scientists. Finally, he's an amazing explainer and popularizer.

If we didn't need him on the research front, I'd say he should be drafted for full-time science communication.

J Bowers said...

Mitt Romney tells 533 lies in 30 weeks, Steve Benen documents them

Anonymous said...

J Bowers at 2/9/12, 3:08 PM.

In Australia we have Tony Abbott who lies as profligately as does Romney. Curiously, Abbott is also a staunch Christian who started down the road of priestlines.

It seems that it's OK to tell porkies, if one has God on one's side. Or perhaps God doesn't include lies if they're executed within the political sphere.

I'd be interested to see a similar documentation of the Abbott disemblances, but I pity the poor sucker who take on the task.


Bernard J. Hyphen-Anonymous XVII, Esq.

J Bowers said...

Bernard, a couple of weeks ago I was stopped in the street by two Mormons, one from Utah, spreading the word in Blighty. They were nice enough lads, and I asked the American about Romney and his "inconsistencies". The American just asked why would I expect a politician to tell the truth?

david lewis said...

Is Eli headed for the slammer?

Read the RNC thinly veiled attack on the integrity and motivation of climate scientists, as stated in the recently adopted RNC national platform:

"We must restore scientific integrity to our public research institutions and remove political incentives from publicly funded research"

These words appear on the America's Natural Resources page which those interested in the potential fate of our chief, the Rabett, reach by clicking on a link on the 2012 Republican Platform homepage.

The full 62 page "We Believe in America" pdf does not contain these words.

GOP "leaders" are distancing themselves from the entire adopted platform, but not because they don't want Eli eviscerated, dried, and stretched out on their floor as a prized Rabett Rug.

Eg., RNC Chairman Reince Priebus says this: "This is the platform of the Republican Party. It's not the platform of Mitt Romney".

But others have different views of what a party platform is and what it means for something to be in it.

"It's a symbol. It's a source of scripture if you will, in policy-making. It's a guide for voters. Platforms are a window into the deeper principals and values of a party coalition"

says Dean Clancy, of FreedomWorks, quoted in this article


Andrew Rosenthal of the NYTimes put it this way:

"Since the 1980s, the Republican platform has been a test of how far the mainstream of the party is willing to move toward the right-wing fringe. Judging from the draft circulating this week, the answer is, pretty much all the way over".

The platform, unlike 2008, has no section on climate. In other sections, it is mentioned that the EPA is to be "prohibited" from doing anything about GHG, and Congress is directed to never adopt "any and all cap and trade legislation", and that's about it.

Oh and in the "A Failed National Security Strategy" section of the full 62 page version we are told that the fact that the Obama administration is concerned about climate at all "reflects the extreme elements of its liberal domestic coalition". Obama is criticized in this section for elevating climate change to the level of a national security threat.

The only thing that's new about any of this is that it is in the newly adopted RNC national platform. I just post this for the record.

Brian said...

JBowers, that Rolling Stone article was a good one, and I've been meaning to blog about it. A must-read.