Welcome to Week En Review, Earth Day edition. This morning, I’m thinking about my two favorite eco-places, Maine in summer and Hawaii in winter. But enough about me, on to the EcoRight.
This week’s must read: Republicans more persuasive than scientists on climate change. This University of Connecticut study found people are more likely to believe Republicans speaking against the party line on climate change than they are scientists. Ditto when it comes to correcting misinformation. “This may be because Republicans who make such statements are engaging in more potentially costly behavior that lend them additional persuasive value,” the authors say.
Climate jester: This week’s climate jester was nominated by one of our readers, who sent us a gem of a story about the Texas Railroad Commissioner, Wayne Christian. Mr. Christian said the biggest threat to the oil and gas industry is millennials brainwashed into thinking that fossil fuels are bad for the environment. “We’re teaching our kids negative things we’re pre-biasing them,” he said. “No wonder the pool is small,” he said, referring to a survey indicating a significant number of millennials would not work in the industry.
Speaking of millennials… Last week our spokesperson David Rokeach was published in the Albany Times Union. This week, we featured him on our blog. You can get to know this enthusiastic member of the EcoRight better here but we share this snapshot:
And for good measure, check out this spotlight on Utahan Nick Huey, founder of The Climate Campaign. The dad of two, he called his kids “the joy of my life, and the reason that I care so much about our future climate.” Looks like he’s totally brainwashing those kids into wanting free market climate solutions.
Caucus members activate: New York’s Rep. John Faso (R-19) has banded together with fellow House Climate Solutions Caucusmember from Illinois, Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-3) to push their legislation, the Challenges and Prizes for Climate Act of 2018. The bill would leverage the federal government’s prize authority to create competitions for next-generation climate technologies and solutions, focused around five themes: carbon capture, energy efficiency, energy storage, climate adaptation and resiliency, and data analytics to better understand or communicate about climate. In an op-ed published in The Hill, the two lawmakers made their case for the bill: “Prize competitions offer several advantages that we think contribute to their bipartisan appeal. They allow federal agencies to work collaboratively with one another, with state, local, and tribal governments, and with the private sector. They also encourage a shared funding model in which multiple governmental agencies and private entities can make cash and in-kind contributions (such as access to facilities or expertise) to the prize purse. Prizes are paid out only for success, not for failure, limiting the government’s financial outlay. Ultimately, prize competitions raise the profile of the competitors and the competition topic, often resulting in market activity that dwarfs the cost of the competition.” In addition to Faso and Lipinski, the bill has ten additional cosponsors. They referred to the bipartisan climate caucus as “a forum for members of both parties to discuss difficult issues and come up with shared solutions,” pointing to their bill as an example of the types of ideas the group fosters.
In the form of a resolution: Two (millennial) Republican members of the House Climate Solutions Caucus joined two Democrats to introduce a bipartisan resolution acknowledging the impact that climate change is having on outdoor recreation and in support of policies to address the problem. Florida’s Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-19) and Utah’s Rep. Mia Love(R-4) sponsored the measure, which recognizes that “the impacts of climate change will increasingly threaten communities, economies, land, and water, unless addressed through mitigation and adaptation efforts.” Stay tuned for more as this bill hopefully progresses through Congress.
Faith in science: In an episode of the science-focused documentary show Nova called Decoding the Weather Machine, longtime meteorologist, one-time climate skeptic, and friend of republicEn.org Paul Douglas talks about his “weaving faith and science together into a narrative that tries to frame climate change and renewable energy into a story that appeals to people’s hearts, as well as their heads.” Take a peak here:
“We’ve always had crazy weather, but in recent decades the extremes have been trending even more extreme,” Douglas said in a recent interview. “It was the increasingly erratic, jaw-dropping weather that tipped me off that climate change had gone from theory to reality.” While the focus of the show is on exploring the intricacies of the science, according to Douglas, “you can’t club people over the head with science. Many people respond to science alone but some conservatives view climate change as a proxy for Big Government and more regulation.” When speaking to conservatives in the Midwest region where he lives, he tries to “stress a market-based approach, and point out that solving climate change will not only mean healthier communities and a better future for our kids, but more good-paying jobs and a healthier economy, if we do this right.”
Trash dump in the sky: “Emissions are a part of our experience on the planet,” Bob Inglis writes in this Environmental Law Institute op-ed. “We eat, we go, we flush. We buy, we use, we dispose. We heat, we cool, we emit. We just need to pay for those emissions in the same way that we pay for our trash and sewage disposal. Just as our municipal dumps have capacity limits, our atmosphere has a limit on emissions that it can safely withstand. Admittedly, setting a tipping fee for emissions into the atmosphere is harder than setting a tipping fee for the city dump.” Thank God we have Bob on our side, fighting the carbon tax fight.
I leave you today with the first stanza of Robert Frost’s A Prayer in Spring:
Oh, give us pleasure in the flowers today;
And give us not to think so far away
As the uncertain harvest; keep us here
All simply in the springing of the year.