Guest essay by Eric Worrall
Vox thinks the Republicans are torn between young members who want climate action, and older members who oppose a new carbon tax. But Vox are overlooking something important.
Frank Luntz vs. Grover Norquist: the GOP’s climate change dilemma in a nutshell
The Republican Party is in a bind on climate change.
On one hand, it has spent decades denying that global warming is a problem and is ideologically opposed to all the public policies — taxes, investments, and regulations — that might solve it.
Frank Luntz warns that the GOP is being left behind on climate
- “58% of Americans — including 58% of GOP voters under 40 — are more concerned about climate change now than they were only one year ago. The appetite for seeing real action is palpable to voters of both sides.”
- “Three in four American voters want to see the government step in to limit carbon emissions — including a majority of Republicans (55%).”
- “69% of GOP voters are concerned their party is ‘hurting itself with younger voters’ by its climate stance.”
Grover Norquist warns the GOP not to touch a carbon tax
The pressure to be productive on climate change is starting to get to some Republicans. Recently, Mitt Romney let it slip that he was open to a carbon tax.
In response, Norquist pulled together a group of 75 conservatives, mostly from various think tanks and right-wing advocacy organizations, to sign a letter to Congress. Here’s the full text:
We oppose any carbon tax. A carbon tax raises the cost of heating your home in the winter and cooling your home in the summer. It raises the cost of filling your car. A carbon tax increases the cost of everything Americans buy and lowers Americans’ effective take home pay. A carbon tax increases the power, cost, and intrusiveness of the government in our lives.
The letter was signed by such notable conservative intellectuals as Thomas Pyle of the American Energy Alliance, Myron Ebell of the Competitive Enterprise Institute, and Phil Kerpen of American Commitment.
The issue Vox and the Republican progressives are overlooking is that carbon taxes, green solutions simply don’t work.
In 2014 engineers working for Google tried to find a viable pathway for the world to embrace 100% renewables. They failed.
“At the start of RE<C, we had shared the attitude of many stalwart environmentalists: We felt that with steady improvements to today’s renewable energy technologies, our society could stave off catastrophic climate change. We now know that to be a false hope …
Renewable energy technologies simply won’t work; we need a fundamentally different approach.”
Before anyone suggests “yes but prices have fallen since 2014…”, not that the Google engineers looked at hypothetical cost saving solutions well beyond current technology, such as self assembling wind turbines which erect themselves without human assistance. They still couldn’t get the numbers to add up.
Why is there such a deep divide between younger and older generations?
Part of the reason I suspect is that older generations remember past failures. It is not just the climate deadlines which have come and gone, with no disaster in sight. Older people also remember all the failed carbon taxes and renewable programmes which never produced any value.
You see, this isn’t the first time the USA attempted a green revolution.
Jimmy Carter’s Solar Panels: A Lost History That Haunts Today
By John Wihbey
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
For President Jimmy Carter, it had been nearly three years of tough fighting for clean energy. After a long rollout of green tax credits, the creation of a nascent Energy Department, and a pledge to conduct the “moral equivalent of war” (at the time, spoofed by critics as “MEOW”) against an energy crisis, Carter had built up scars. And there would be more to come. He had had battles with Congress and with his political enemies over green issues. But he had some victories, too, and this day brought one more, a small moment of symbolism.
Solar panels, some 32 of them, were on the roof of the White House. The set was just right – the sun had come out for the press as though for a stage call. Tape rolled, the cameras snapped.
Self-conscious about his own idealism, or perhaps just realistic, the President gave voice to his doubts about the panels: “A generation from now, this solar heater can either be a curiosity, a museum piece, an example of a road not taken, or it can be a small part of one of the greatest and most exciting adventures ever undertaken by the American people.”
The point of all this was simple, Carter said. America was to harness “the power of the sun to enrich our lives as we move away from our crippling dependence on foreign oil.”
…Read more: https://www.yaleclimateconnections.org/2008/11/jimmy-carters-solar-panels/
Politicians who commit the nation to green energy end up being blamed for the inevitable failure. Politicians who fail are remembered as incompetents.