Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Talking Politics through the Medium of a Cat

It’s political high season. Despite Frankenstorm Sandy’s dominance on air, politics still manage to squeeze into the media’s attention. We try to be neutral here at The Green Elephant (dot) US; politics is too counter-productive at times and getting involved in an ideological debate does very little good. Yet, we do give a lot of coverage to the left, if nothing else but by the virtue of Mr. Obama’s Administration activities.  So now we join the frenzy before Super Tuesday to remedy our slanted view. I tried to keep humor in mind during such dirty and dry talk of politics.

There are a few things to straighten out first. To read on, you must accept the following magic tricks:

  • There IS a global consensus on climate change; and even if you still don’t think it’s we, the humans, who caused the change, you must recognize that we, the humans, must do something about it for our continued survival; 
  • It is a myth that the political right embraces complete denial of the environmental movement; the media simply gives too much attention to the far right that wants to eliminate government all together and think we have the God given right to pollute and indulge the scarcity of our ecosystem—they make good news just as the far left would and I would repudiate their views as quickly as I could; 
  • Finally, (and this one comes from a card reading my cat performed as a medium to the Wicked Witch of the West) there is something to be said for wanting not just a small government, but a well-ran and efficient government; the size of the government is an eventual function of how well we can manage it, no community can function without some sort of governance and if we are going to have one it should be subject to public accountability and transparency; so just wanting a small government or calling to eliminate the government all together is like saying: I want my cake now but I don’t want you to bake it; magic . . . 

Now, let’s talk about politics and the right. First, have you noticed there isn’t much talk about the environment or climate change in this election cycle? I wondered why that is; I have my guesses but they are as good as my cat’s prediction on the weather. NPR did note that the candidates have not always ignored the issue: 

“then-Senator Obama famously told voters that his 2008 Democratic primary win would be the moment “when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal.” He supported a cap-and-trade bill that passed the House, but failed in the Senate. Romney pushed for regional carbon limits during his tenure as Massachusetts governor, though he ultimately backed away from the plan.” 

So I wonder now if there is a Republican conspiracy to play low so to avoid upsetting their base: those Tea Baggers and the likes who would not believe in science, who would not listen or compromise, and who somehow equate patriotism with denial of reason. These people make my content consumption, with respect to the political right, a disappointment.

Or better yet, may be there is a far more invidious plot by the left—Obama the Socialist—to suppress talks about the environment for fear of upsetting the foolish independent ones who would actually believe we need no more of governance on the issue of our environment, and to a larger extent sustainability, because that is a gateway drug to complete socialism. But that conspiracy theory would mean Mr. Obama actually believes he is a socialist, which I know is not true, so we have a semantic contradiction.

Well, pick your poison of the conspiracy, but I must point you to a sensible solution to the illusion: there are enough right (and left) leaning independents out there that can make a difference in this divided political landscape. But the trick to leverage those independent voters is to first accept their premise: reason. The issue of environmental regulation is incidental to the premise of responsibility and action, the politics of ideologies must be put aside for pragmatic reasons; if there should be a grassroots movement to discredit science and reason, to bring about yet another inquisition, then there should be grassroots movement to call for reason to prevail. It is 2012 boys and girls, we ought not to repeat the dark ages where fire-breathing dragons taunt our dreams.

To get you started on that path, we give you a respectable leadership record in our politics with its imperfections yielding to the useless ideological arguments that divide this nation:

“John McCain introduced the first major bill in the Senate to address it: the Climate Stewardship Act of 2003, cosponsored with Joe Lieberman. In May 2008, he unveiled a new plan for tackling the problem, a cap-and-trade system with a series of targets for gradually reducing carbon emissions to 60 percent below 1990 levels by the year 2050. The plan would give away many pollution credits instead of auctioning them off, and would give polluting entities expansive leeway to buy carbon offsets instead of reducing their own emissions. McCain used to oppose ethanol subsidies, but upon launching his current presidential campaign, he has changed his tune. He also changed his position on offshore drilling (but he still opposes drilling in the Arctic Refuge). McCain wants to build 45 new nuclear power plants by 2030 and spend big on “clean coal” technology; he also expresses support for wind, solar, and other renewables, but doesn’t believe they need government assistance.” 

Grist, a look at John McCain’s environmental platform and record, (2008). 

 Also, here is a very informative NPR video:


Watch Climate of Doubt on PBS. See more from FRONTLINE.


And finally, you will note I’ve added the Republican Party’s Conserve America’s blog on my blog-roll to balance out my other left leaning sources. I owe them a favor for kindly granting my blog the use of The Green Elephant trademark.

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