Monday, January 24, 2022

Republican leaders get real about climate change. “We’re not doing any left-wing stuff.”

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis
By Arian Campo-Flores, Wall Street Journal, Miami, Jan. 23, 2022 - Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis visited the coastal city of Oldsmar recently to unveil projects including sea walls and drainage systems intended to address flooding. The state is seeing rising sea levels, and Florida’s environmental and economic successes are intertwined, Mr. DeSantis and other speakers said.

“What I’ve found is people, when they start talking about things like global warming, they typically use that as a pretext to do a bunch of left-wing things,” said Mr. DeSantis at the event. “We’re not doing any left-wing stuff.”

Governors and lawmakers in several Republican-led states, including Idaho, South Carolina and Texas, are taking a similar approach as concern about climate change increases. ... A December analysis of five surveys by Florida Atlantic University researchers concluded that the share of self-identified Florida Republicans who say they believe in climate change rose 5 percentage points to 88% over roughly two years beginning in October 2019, ... Mr. DeSantis outlined a proposal to dedicate more than $270 million to 76 projects aimed at bolstering defenses against rising sea levels and flooding. (link)

Rod's Comment: It is heartening to see Republicans take climate change seriously and it is also heartening to see some Democrats get real about climate change.  Up until this point, most climate policies have been driven by climate warrior romantics who have supported feel-good measures that have been ineffective and in many cases made climate change worse.  At the same time, the Republican response has most often been denial that climate change is even real, and those who know better and should be leaders have been intimidated by the Republican base. 

I think we are starting to see fewer spiritualist tree-huggers at the table sitting climate policy and more engineers, economists, and other realists. At least I hope so.  As the world continues to warm, it is time for a new approach.  We need to abandon the Paris Accords, which have been an abject failure.  We need a price on carbon with carbon border adjustments and we need to embrace nuclear energy.  Those are the most important things that need to happen and there are more.  I would like to see Republicans take the lead and endorse realistic climate policies. 

We must admit however that those policies that could slow and then halt global warming may never be adopted or they may only slowly be adopted. It may still be a while before most of the world accepts that the climate change policies we have followed for the last fifty years have been a failure. We can not put all of our hope on the world adopting wise policies any time soon. Climate realism calls for policies that slow climate change but also policies that acknowledge that the world is warming and deals with it, such as geoengineering, technological innovation, mitigation, and adaptation. 

For more of my post on climate change, follow this link

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