Saturday, October 27, 2012

It's Not Easy Being Green

Kermit sang that, and now it appears that the president is singing it, too:
It’s not much of a surprise to see this from Romney, but this is a major shift for Obama. The president’s 2008 campaign was filled with grand statements about how we needed to implement bold new plans to combat climate change, and for the first two years of his administration, it seemed as though he would be likely to follow through. Green jobs programs, subsidies for electric cars, and even pie-in-the-sky carbon-trading schemes were all discussed, and some were eventually passed.

Those days are long gone. The closer we come to the election, the less we hear about green and the more we hear about brown, about oil and gas drilling. Obama wants to win in November, and he’s clearly made the (correct) choice that he can’t do it if he continues to be the green candidate.

This is a testament to the spectacular failures of the environmental movement to articulate any policies that aren’t political suicide for those who support them. When Obama was elected, many Greens felt that their time had come, that one of their own was sitting in the Oval Office. But it only took two years of political defeats and embarrassments to convince the president and many of his party colleagues that the green movement’s polices of choice are political non-starters.
So it this a "pivot" or a "flip-flop"? I can't keep track of the correct terminology in this election cycle.


Ellen K said...

Friends of ours have a solar installation company that's been around for 25 years. They were NOT recipients of Obama's stimulus money, but many of the green upstarts funded by Obama were. They had loyal corporate customers (most notably the oil companies who use solar for monitors in remote places)and endured even during this bad economic run. But hardly any of Obama's crony capitalists survived. I personally believe that money was skimmed from the stimulus grants to send back to Obama's campaign fund. I would love to see an audit. BTW. what the heck is going on in your state? I just read this story and commented.

allen (in Michigan) said...

Anyone heard any predictions about the longevity of the Volt?

It's not just greenie-weenies who think the Volt is positively scrumptious. General Electric smacks its corporate lips at the mention of the Volt so zeroing out subsidies for electric and hybrid cars isn't just a matter of left wing influence. There are folks happily rooting through the federal coffers who also have an urgent interest in keeping the gravy train running.

But Russell Mead's right, the best days of the radical environmentalist movement are in the past.

Darren said...

EllenK, I just read the story you linked to. In answer to your question: I have NO FREAKIN IDEA what's going on in my state. No sane person can possibly understand.

momof4 said...

I recently had a conversation with someone whose friend has a business which does maintenance on windmills in southeast SD, southwest MN and northwestern IA. He says that the European-manufactured turbines are not designed to handle the much-stronger winds in his work area, let alone their frequency and duration - and the turbines are very expensive to repair and replace (much more often than is the case in Europe and in the product ads). However, that cost isn't usually included in the benefit calculation of wind energy.

Anonymous said...

I was on campus for the first Earth Day (1970) and remember the original aims of the movement, which were all achieved about 20 years ago. However, the goalposts have been moving in an ever-more-radical direction ever since then, such that today's true believers (it's far more religion than science) are pushing to spend vast piles of money to achieve an irrelevant percentage point of green and/or to prevent any human use of resources. I remember talking, at least a decade ago, with one of the original members of the Sierra Club, who said that moderates (aka reasonable people) like him had been pushed out by the leftward drift.

It's sort of like AA; everyone says they'd like to do things the clean way, but they're not willing to stop all development or energy use or to spend unreasonable amounts in the attempt. In AA, most people are OK with the origninal intent of giving the nod to the disadvantaged (black)kid with essentially the same qualifications, but have the opposite reaction to the actual, current practice of admitting upper-middle-class black/Hispanic kids with SATs over 300 points lower than their Asian/white agemates. (that's the gap at UT Austin, according to what I've read on the Fisher case, and I've seen reports as high as 450 points)

maxutils said...

a liberal, a moderate, and a conservative walk into a bar . . .bartender says, "Hey, Mitt!"