Sunday, October 27, 2019

Mayor Cooper on signing an executive order on climate change: "That's just wasting a piece of paper."

by Rod Williams - Ever since he won the election a group of young climate change activist, the Nashville "hub" of the Sunrise Movement, have been pressuring Mayor John Cooper to sign an executive order declaring climate change an emergency. The group held a six-hour sit-in during the first days of Cooper's administration to persuade him to do so. Recently the mayor held a "listening session" at a coffee shop on Nolensville Pike to speak on issues important to residents.  Sunrise was there pushing their proposal for an executive order.

Cooper told the group that he agreed that climate change was an emergency but said, it is not anything he can do anything about. He has invited the group to meet with his top advisor to discuss their concerns but they have turned down the invitation. Cooper has said the subject area could not be
"more important," but has not called it a "crisis."

According to The Tennessean, Cooper said, "Youth violence is also a bit of a crisis. You want to be careful about which crisis is the most important crisis. I try to be careful not to overuse 'crisis...'
Calling something a crisis should be used where 'you can get the most done.'" "Everything they're talking about is, of course, quite worthy," he said. "But we're trying to get what we need to get accomplished for the city first."

I am pleased with Mayor Cooper's stance. To those who believe climate change is nothing but a hoax or believe that it is real but human activity has nothing to do with it, they will not be pleased.  They will oppose his recognition that it is a issue and will object to his calling it "an emergency." I am not one who thinks it is a hoax. I accept that humans can impact the environment.  I would have preferred, however, that he would have said it is an issue of concern and not have used the term "emergency," but I am not going to nitpick. 

I accept the reality of climate change but believe the solution lies with more capitalism, innovation,  technology and economic growth.  Most climate change activist seem to oppose steps that have actually reduced greenhouse emission such as fracking that has led to natural gas replacing a lot of coal. They oppose things like nuclear power and seem to favor policy that would turn the clock back to a era of pre industralization. I see them as more devoted to socialist policies rather than solving the issue they seem so passionate about. 

Cooper could have given the radicals what they wanted. It wouldn't have cost him anything to do so and he could have gotten them off his back. It showed fortitude to resist. I am sure John Ray Clemmons would have enthusiastically embraced the cause and, maybe not with as much enthusiasm, but have do doubt Briley would have given them their executive order also. I am pleased to see Cooper stay focused on the issues he ran on and not buckle to the newly energized extreme progressives.

Some would argue that issuing an executive order of this nature would do no harm. I disagree. To do so would contribute to the pressure that is building to adopt extreme measures such as those advocated in The Green New Deal.  There is a concerted effort to get city after city to adopt policies favoring radical climate change policies. When city after city does so, it tells Congress that the agenda of the radicals has the support of the country.  Since the first of the year New York City, Austin Texas, Kalamazoo MI, Bolder Co,  Miami Beach Fl, and hundreds of cities world-wide have joined in declaring a climate change emergency.

The young climate activist are now turning their attention to the Metro Council.  Even the conservatives on the Council often let liberal memorializing resolutions slip through. The thought is that since they spend no money and adopt no policies they are meaningless and it is better to let them slip on through than try to stop them. Also, some feel it is not wise to waste political capital on measures that don't really do anything and it is wise to pick your battles.  My view is that this is important and the Council should not go on record supporting a declaration that the Council recognizes a climate change emergency. I hope the conservatives and sensible liberals on the Council have as much fortitude as Mayor Cooper.

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