Tuesday, June 21, 2011

NV-02: Why Are These Republicans Against JOBS & Energy Independence?

(Also at Daily Kos)

Last week, Reno News & Review had an interesting article on Nevada experiencing more of the dangerous effects of climate change without us previously realizing it.

A string of tornados. Major international floods. Record-breaking wildfires across the Southwest. And—far less destructive but more noticeable to Northern Nevada residents—a freakishly wet and chilly May, making it the spring that never was. It’s left many to scratch their heads and say, “Maybe there’s something to this climate change thing.” If climate change were happening in Nevada, what would it look like, and are we seeing it now?

To the second question, the Desert Research Institute’s Dr. Kelly Redmond, says, “Yes, I think we probably are.” Redmond is deputy director of the Western Regional Climate Center. He compares recognizing climate change to noticing signs of aging. Every once in awhile, we have some episode—we discover we can’t party as hard as we used to, or we have a wrinkle, a gray hair, an illness—and we realize that while we don’t see it every day, we are undoubtedly aging. We don’t notice global warming every day, either, but a vast amount of data shows the Earth is warming, and the effects of it are both subtle and blunt. Sometimes climate change looks like a raging wildfire, sometimes like a butterfly where it never was before. [...]

Redmond says everybody should be skeptical of data by itself. When he first saw temperatures on research thermometers rising, he thought something was wrong with the thermometers. But even with new thermometers and placement of them, evidence of warming remained. He’s also seen evidence of snowmelt occurring one to three weeks earlier than it did 50 years ago. Lilacs and honeysuckles are blooming earlier. The biggest fires in the history of the Western U.S. have been in the past 10 years. Pine beetles in Canada, previously kept in check by cold snaps, have jumped the continental divide and are headed down the East coast. Chipmunks, mice and voles have moved up in elevation from where they lived 100 years ago. Most butterflies are also slowly moving north.

“All these bits and pieces of evidence, all these compasses, are basically pointing in the same direction. Maybe one or two of the compasses are broken. But if they’re all pointing in the same direction, you pay attention. This is very much like solving a crime. There’s a standard of proof in criminology, and we should have some kind of standard of proof in our head for when we decide to believe something or not. And then, are you willing to change your mind based on the evidence you see? I think most people’s minds can be changed by what they see. If we listen to what the world’s telling us, we’ll get it. The question is, will we get it fast enough?”

It's becoming increasingly difficult to deny the sobering reality of the coming climate crisis... Except apparently if one wants the endorsement of the Nevada Republican Party. If we're to accept the "energy policy" prescriptions coming from the Republicans (including Nevada Republican Party endorsed candidate, Mark Amodei) running in Nevada's 2nd Congressional District, we may actually never get it! Go ahead and listen for yourself as they refuse to even acknowledge the realities of climate change and deride "green energy" as "not responsible".

Face, meet palm. Well, at least I'm not alone. Mr. Spectator was also disgusted.

[...] The candidates differed in no appreciable way on issues. They predictably answered litmus questions from the party faithful on the gamut of right wing nut job topics, but I found their comments on “Green Energy” the most telling. Here is the exact question: “It is often touted that Nevada is the Saudi Arabia of renewable energy. Address the cost to the consumer and reconcile the political versus that cost.” What’s not well hidden in this poorly worded question is an inherent denial of human caused climate change. There is no reason to develop more expensive renewable energy if climate change is a myth concocted by left wing scientists. We want the cheapest energy source possible to be most economically competitive. Corporations can be trusted to not grossly pollute for profit, can’t they? [...]

If the scientific realty of human caused climate change is not front and center when setting energy policy and priorities, these are not the people we should be sending to Washington, at least to represent me. From their “green energy” responses we do not know how the candidates stand on climate change, but apparently these fellows need to pander to flat earth Nevada Republicans who are still in a tizzy President Obama was not actually born in this country. All three candidates seem to value science if it makes money or war, but not when science points out pollution and environmental destruction on a global scale.

Clearly Mark Amodei, Kirk Lippold, and Greg Brower don't want to recognize real science. So instead, they run to the hocus pocus "magic" of dirty coal, oil, nuclear, and the rest of the failed fossil fuel industry. Lovely.

Here's the problem. One, we simply can't afford to give up the potential for much needed jobs.

Good jobs are already being created right here in Nevada, and even more will be created if we invest more in renewable energy development and energy efficiency.

And here's another big issue. Mark Amodei likes to complain about the "high cost" of renewable energy, but he failed to mention the real costs of dirty fossil fuels. Solar power is becoming more affordable and accessible as companies continue to innovate with new technology and solar becomes more widespread & mainstream. However as renewable energy costs have dropped over the last decade, fossil fuel energy costs continue to rise as supply becomes more limited and the many hidden costs of pollution are revealed.

Even our REPUBLICAN Governor and Lieutenant Governor recognize the need for Nevada to go green with renewables.

So even prominent Republicans here in Nevada recognize the need to go green. Why don't Mark Amodei and the other Republicans running in NV-02?

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