The Campaign Spot

I Hate Disagreeing With Rush. But Here’s My Case…

As this posting turns into a major e-mail generating brouhaha that I wasn’t looking for today… and now I’m told Rush is discussing this. Great.

The e-mailbag is full of declarations that “You guys are undermining everything we are fighting for.” Yes. One blog post undid the entire conservative movement.
Well, I didn’t want to get dragged into this argument, but here’s my case. Like Rush, I’d like to see nuclear power. I’d like to see drilling in ANWR. I’d like to see drilling in a lot of places, and a lot more oil refineries in a lot more places, and NIMBYism mocked into submission. And I’d like to see a slew of wind farms off the coast of Ted Kennedy’s property. I’d like to see multiple energy providers competing for your dollars, the same way you have your choice of who you want to buy gasoline from.
Two more ideas from Jim Manzi, in the June 5 issue of National Review:

Using U.S. or European technology to increase the energy conversion efficiency of coal-fired Chinese power plants is a decidedly non-sexy measure; but it’s probably the single most important action we can take to reduce carbon emissions over the next century…

We can reduce the climate impact of carbon that is emitted, often using such simple techiniques as planting more trees or using more reflective paint… We also need to place a strong emphasis on large prizes for accomplishing measurable and audacious goals. The British entrepreneur Richard Branson has offered a $25 million prize to anyone who demonstrates a device that removes carbon from the atmosphere; what if the U.S. government upped the ante to $1 billion and pledged to make any resulting technology freely available to the world? That would hold the potential for solving any global warming problem that might develop, for a one time cost of less than 0.01 percent of U.S. GDP.

And as I noted last year, science may not be that far away, if this article in the Economist is correct:

That does not mean that lateral thinking about the problem has no place. And the idea proposed by Alfred Wong of the University of California, Los Angeles, at last week’s meeting of the American Geophysical Union, in Acapulco, is about as lateral as they come. Dr Wong reckons the problem is not so much that CO2 is being thrown away, but that it is not being thrown far enough. According to his calculations, a little helping hand would turn the Earth’s magnetic field into a conveyor belt that would vent the gas into outer space, whence it would never return.

Could you imagine that? Our friends on the left, hip-deep in planning carbon taxes, SUV bans, light bulb police, licensed and regulated carbon offset dealers… and we come along and say, “never mind! We just figured out how to flush our excess CO2 out beyond the atmosphere!”
For that matter, what’s wrong with any of the eco-friendly innovations built into President Bush’s Western White House (and why do we hear so little of it?)?
(By the way, I’m listening to Rush on WMAL, and they just cut to an ad for the Environmental Defense Action Fund, featuring Governors Janet Napolitano, D-Arizona, and Tim Pawlenty, R-Minnesota. For some reason, the EDAF thinks Rush’s listeners are receptive to their message.)
Two of the big demographics in the conservative movement are hunters, who have a particular attention to and concern for the environment, and religious Christians who look upon the earth through the lens of stewardship of God’s creation, to bequeath to the next generation. Any Republican nominee has to be able to speak their language, and when there is a debate question on global warming — and there will be — if the Republican nominee leaves the impression that he doesn’t care about the environment, he will lose.
As I noted in the earlier post, each of the four remaining major Republican contenders has stated that they believe human activity is at least partially responsible for climate change.

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