This week’s must read: ‘Carbon Tax Cohn’ nickname for National Economic Council director (side bar: what should our emoji handle be?)
This week’s must listen: Rep. Bob Inglis talks carbon tax on the John Williams show
This week in climate change: There’s hope for the future, at least according to a poll conducted by Thomson Reuters Foundation, which surveyed 21 Republican college clubs across the U.S. and found a majority of members support climate action. “When our generation is in power, we will take climate change much more seriously,” Grace Woodward, president of the Republican club at Davidson College in North Carolina, told Reuters. “Climate change is really real and really alarming.” More than half those Young Republican clubs surveyed indicated their membership think climate change is happening and caused by human activity. About a quarter indicated mixed views on the issue and only three clubs said climate change does not come up with their membership.
“I think that there will be a big change in the (Republican) Party,” said Kent Haeffner, president of the Harvard University Republican Club. “Demographically, the ‘Trump coalition’ will not last. I think that the folks that are our age are going to have to reshape the party and take it in a different direction.” Nick Frankowski, the chairman of Ohio State University’s College Republicans said “you’d be hard pressed to find someone who thought that climate change is not occurring at all.” He pointed to the “overwhelming” evidence, adding, “The biggest debate is, of course, what to do about it.” A Pew report published a year earlier found that 52 percent of people aged 18 to 29 years saw global warming as a “very serious problem,” compared to only 38 percent of adults over 50 years old.
“We’ve grown up in sort of a globalized world where we’ve seen the impacts that global warming has,” Woodward added. “The people that are in power right now, for whatever reason, don’t have that same global view.”
In other news, the White House announced the nomination of Kevin Hassett as chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers. A tax policy expert for American Enterprise Institute, Hassett has written extensively on the economics of climate change and his support for a carbon tax. If confirmed, he would join a small choir of presidential advisors who support the carbon tax approach to curbing climate change pollution.
This week’s climate jester was last week’s runner up. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt earned the climate jester hat for his inconsistent comments on U.S. presence in the Paris Climate Agreement. “Paris is something we need to look at closely. It’s something we need to exit in my opinion,” Pruitt said in an interview on the Fox & Friends news show. “It’s a bad deal for America. It’s an ‘America second, third or fourth’ kind of approach.” This position puts Pruitt at odds with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. The former head of ExxonMobil has indicated he supports U.S. participation in the global climate effort. The statement also puts him at odds with his own words. Just last week, the EPA head told Chris Wallace that international climate engagement “is very important” to “demonstrate the leadership that we have shown on this issue with China and India and other nations.”
That’s it for us this week. Happy Easter to those who celebrate!