Massachusetts Governor, Mitt Romney, professed a surprisingly different set of core values compared with those of the Romney who would be President. As governor, Romney aggressively supported the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and championed renewable energy. He also worked to close aging coal-fire power plants, and readily endorsed wind and solar energy.
In a cynical effort to appeal to a wider pool of Conservative voters, Romney now renounces the pro-environment reforms that defined his career as governor.
As a new hero for status quo stagnation, Mitt recently opposed a landmark EPA environmental regulation designed to control mercury and other toxic air pollution from power plants.
Mitt Romney campaigns for a way of life in a world that no longer exists.
Romney has reinvented himself as the Ron Popeil of fossil fuels, touting them as our best bet to stimulate economic growth. Few people argued with this thinking fifty years ago, but our collective carbon footprint has created massive environmental damage that could jeopardize our very existence.
When challenged for rejecting his pro-environment accomplishments to hustle policies that release huge amounts of greenhouse gas emissions, Romney keeps it simple. Our national consumption amounts to an “energy appetite,” which can be solved by an “energy diet.” The terms make a good soundbite while proposing nothing to ensure a healthy planet for future generations.
Warning: Earth is becoming a biohazard.
This week, panelists from the Rio+20 environmental summit offered a warning concerning the state of our planet:
“The combined effects of climate change, resource scarcity, loss of biodiversity and ecosystem resilience at a time of increased demand, poses a real threat to humanity’s welfare. There is an unacceptable risk that human pressures on the planet, should they continue on a business as usual trajectory, will trigger abrupt and irreversible changes with catastrophic outcomes for human societies and life as we know it.”
No apology and no awareness
Two years ago, Mitt Romney published “No Apology: The Case For American Greatness,” in preparation for Campaign 2012. Romney’s political message targets a wide Conservative base, articulating the Republican candidate’s views regarding our military, economy, foreign policy and our environment.
At the time of publication, Romney pays lip service to environmental issues through porous statements that betray a man grasping to express ecological sophistication, while rejecting the green reforms he worked so hard to initiate.
Eagerly pandering to his party’s anti-regulatory sentiment, Mitt writes in vague, simplistic terms regarding climate change, never advocating sustainable solutions such as renewable energy, green jobs, or green technology. Upon his assumption as the Republican presidential nominee, Mitt’s anti-environment rhetoric grew horns, and began attacking green initiatives as a threat to good business.
Recently, Romney led his campaign on a bus tour through six states that boast a combined force of almost half a million green jobs, whose diverse sectors include wind and solar power, green buildings, land conservation and waste-to-energy. Inexplicably, Mitt continues to attack renewable energy companies, while describing green jobs as “illusory.”
Romney’s politics and policies honor business as usual, and harken back to a bygone era before the concept of environmentalism entered our active vocabulary. Even as our world leaders struggle to win consensus for repairing a planet headed for disaster, Mitt Romney swims in denial.
Four Excerpts from No Apology reveal a very flexible sense of conviction.
Source: No Apology, by Mitt Romney, p.227 , Mar 2, 2010
Yes, humans may in fact have something to do with climate change.
“I believe that climate change is occurring–the reduction in the size of global ice caps is hard to ignore. I also believe that human activity is a contributing factor.”
In 2003, Governor Romney promoted the triumph of his state’s Cap and Trade policies, and boasted that he made good on his promise to clean up harmful carbon pollution, declaring he would not create jobs or hold jobs that kill people.
“I am uncertain how much of the warming, however, is attributable to man and how much is attributable to factors out of our control. I do not support radical feel-good policies like a unilateral US cap-and-trade mandate. Such policies would have little effect on the climate but could cripple economic growth.”
How can we describe Romney’s new position as defender of non-renewable energy? For one, we need to harvest more fossil fuels because green energy cripples economic growth. And while we can’t know for certain, our hunger for fossil fuels may somehow affect global warming. Still, we may easily resolve climate change boo boos by consuming less fossil fuel. My head hurts.
“Oil is purported to be one of the primary contributors to rising global temperatures. If in fact global warming is importantly caused by our energy appetite, it’s yet one more reason for going on an energy diet.”
A planetary geekdom of scientists decries global warming, and serves up mountains of empirical proof that fossil fuel emissions cause environmental disaster. But these guys may yet have it all wrong, especially since geological data reveals that Earth has endured warmer temperatures. In fact, in its infancy our planet existed as a giant molten rock of boiling magma, whose surface temperature averaged 1800°C, under atmospheric gases dominated by carbon dioxide and water vapor. Of course, nothing lived back then either.
“Scientists are nearly unanimous in laying the blame for rising temperatures on greenhouse gas emissions. Of course there are also reasons for skepticism. The earth may be getting warmer, but there have been numerous times in the earth’s history when temperatures have been warmer than they are now.”
Mitt Romney worked to combat climate change as governor (latimes.com)
Energy Etch A Sketch: NY Times Editorial on Mitt Romney (sustainablebusiness.com)
Ending Fossil Fuel Subsidies Will Save Taxpayers Billions Every Year (treehugger.com)
Does Mitt Romney Get Energy? (solarfeeds.com)