As I wrote in a piece for the Capital Research Center here, Minnesota Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty seems to have bought into the approach of distinguishing himself with a trademark touchy-feely global warming activism – despite what sounded like a well-rehearsed speech I heard him deliver to conservative activists, all about how Rs need to be what they are to succeed, not imitate the Ds.
So it was at first with surprise, then understanding, that I read today how he is backing off of his rhetoric in the face of economic pain, and having his aides make stupendous claims instead.
For example, when speaking to legislators two of his “climate” aides cited “The first of three targets — a 15 percent carbon reduction below 2005 levels — [that] is just six years off, in 2015 . . . [then] startled lawmakers with a graph showing that carbon emissions in Minnesota are estimated to dip slightly from 2005 to 2006, the last year for which any data is available. They testified that if the trend would continue the 2015 target may be met by doing nothing.”
Why, at this rate . . . ! You have to admit, that’s pretty funny. But it’s also precisely what Europeans have been regularly doing, like say our friends the Danes who reduced emissions one year by buying electricity instead of producing it, then crowed how this puts them “on track” to meet a substantially lower emissions promise under Kyoto. If there is such a thing as an honorary European, Gov. Pawlenty has my support.