Monday, October 15, 2007

Why Can't California Republicans See the Light on Climate Change?

On Friday evening, I had quite a unique opportunity to see
first-hand what Republicans are thinking about their own future. I
attended the Friday night dinner for the 2007 Western CPAC Conference in
Newport Beach
. Yes, believe it or not, I have nice Republican friends
who invite me to events like this. And believe it or not, I wanted to
see for myself what matters to conservatives. Well, now I have seen,
and I have to wonder why so many in the Republican Party are so willing to destroy their party's own future along with the future of this planet.

As you've heard by now, State Senator Tom McClintock (R-What Is He Thinking?) gave the keynote speech. He spoke about why we shouldn't worry so much about the coming climate crisis, but rather the "rabid extremists" pushing that "man made global warming nonsense". He also tried to claim that California's new efforts to curb climate change are forcing businesses like the Wonder Bread factory to shut down, and that the effort to save our planet and ourselves from the coming climate crisis is somehow a threat to "personal liberty". It was sad, really, to witness Sen. McClintock completely miss a good opportunity the GOP has to return to sanity.

I mean, come on! The Governator is giving them a real opportunity
to become productive in solving the climate crisis. Sure, I may not agree with everything Arnold does, but at least he acknowledges reality and he's willing to do something about it. He signed AB 32 last year, and this legislation has now put California on the forefront of finding solutions to climate change. This year, he's signed into law several bills that promote better energy conservation. Basically, Arnold understands that our state will ultimately benefit from thinking ahead and taking action on the climate crisis while there is still time to solve it. Not only are we allowing for our own survival, but we are also creating new business opportunities in producing renewable energy and creating energy-efficient products.

Well, Arnold sees the light somewhat regarding climate change. Why can't the rest of his party do so? Follow me after the flip for more.

So why can't more Republicans recognize the reality of climate change? What will it take for them to wake up and smell the coming crisis? Apparently, the smoke from the wildfires isn't waking them up. And no, neither is the storm surge from the hurricanes. OK, so what will it take? A complete electoral wipe out next year?

Why can't more Republicans see what Arnold is seeing? Why are they now focusing all their energy on smearing Al Gore, when they could actually be thinking of solutions to the climate crisis? For all their talk of "conservatism", they don't see why we must conserve this planet for future generations. For all their talk of "moral values", they can't see the real moral value of caring for God's creation. And for all their talk of "free enterprise", they can't see the new opportunities for enterprise in saving the planet. What's the problem here?

No, instead they opt for denial. And the more they deny, the less the voters take them seriously. And really, why should California voters take Republicans seriously if they continue to deny scientific reality on climate change? We're looking for solutions, not fantasy.

So perhaps, I should be glad as a Democrat that the Republicans are shooting themselves in the foot. Perhaps I should be glad that Republican officials like Tom McClintock and Chuck DeVore would rather deny reality and bash the reality based community as "extremists" than work on real solutions to climate change like their fellow Republicans on the Huntington Beach, Laguna Beach, and Aliso Viejo have. However, I'm not. I'm actually sad to see the party of Teddy Roosevelt lose its way on conserving our natural resources.

So what will it take for Republicans here to see the light on climate change? More natural disasters? More electoral disasters (for them)? A loss of business opportunities? Or just a reevaluation of what their "conservative values" really are? I wonder.

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