Tuesday, November 09, 2010

How to be a climate hawk and a polite elected official

One of an important number of problems I saw with the elected leadership where I ran for office was insufficient politeness to members of the public, to the staff, and to each other. So now I'm an elected official wondering how to deal with things here on my personal blog, where I don't feel very politely inclined toward some people on climate issues.

I'll try to handle it mainly by the fact that this isn't where I intend to discuss Water District issues primarily, something I'll do at my campaign blog. There, I'll be Mr. Polite. No climate denialists being labelled there, just misguided skeptics. And it's helpful to remember that the position is with a special district without even the police power of local government.

As for here, I'll continue to point out problems, like the ones with (non-denialist) Roger Pielke Jr.'s alleged Iron Law that economic policies will always outweigh climate policies. Roger claims that his book is much more subtle and one shouldn't criticize his Iron Law without first reading (buying) his book. I'm going to have to pass on that suggestion - buying the book is probably creating a bad incentive given his past work on these issues.

The point I tried to make is that I'm certain that had Prop. 23 won in California, then Roger would've claimed it as vindication of his Iron Law. Instead it got roundly thumped and California moves ahead on its cap-and-trade provisions, right before Roger explains on national radio that moving ahead on cap-and-trade will be stopped at the ballot box. Roger could try to make the argument made against me, that it was unfair to focus on ancillary benefits from fighting climate change, and that defenseless Texas oil companies and coal billionaires had no ability to respond, but the question is whether you can get climate change policies passed. We can, and Roger's Iron Law seems pretty squishy.

But he is polite though, so I'll give him credit for that. Thanks!

1 comment:

  1. Elsewhere I implied that your title might be a little boring and suggested "Grahd High Panjumdrum of the Golden Elixir" as a more exciting alternative (plus hiring a squad of professional cheerleaders for the board meetings), but now I realize I overstepped, since in the aftermath of Prop. 19's failure it can only be "Grand Panjumdrum of the Golden Elixir." It'll still be good, though. I look forward to the implementation.


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