Happy Friday! Unrelated to the topic at hand is that today is the 30th anniversary of the Baltic Way, a peaceful protest held by my motherland of Latvia and sister countries Lithuania and Estonia. Thirty years ago, two million Baltic people joined hands across their three republics to protest the Soviet Union and demand freedom.
Romney praises carbon tax: Utah Senator Mitt Romney, who earlier this year indicated he was assembling a group of GOP Senators interested in working on climate change solutions, said in a speech on Monday that climate change is happening, human activity is a “significant contributor,” and a carbon tax is a better approach than the Green New Deal (GND). “Romney discussed the benefits of a carbon tax,” according to the Associated Press. “A fee based on each ton of carbon dioxide emissions produced by fossil fuels that some major oil companies have adopted. He suggested a portion of the tax revenue could go to coal workers in rural communities that would suffer financially from the move to cleaner power alternatives.” By contrast, he called the GND “silliness.” Romney also pointed out the disparity between the older generation of conservatives and the rising generation of conservative leaders, who are more bought in to the need for climate action.
Editorial of the week: The Charleston, SC based Post and Courier editors posted this editorial, SC Republicans should support new conservation caucus led by Graham. “Republican members of the South Carolina congressional delegation should join Sen. Lindsey Graham as members of the new Roosevelt Conservation Caucus,” they write. “The choice, as Sen. Graham put it, is between heavy-handed federal intervention in the economy and enlisting the private sector to get involved in seeking solutions. ‘From a Republican point of view,’ he said, ‘I think we need to showcase that we care about conservation, we care about the environment and we have innovative solutions that are not top-down regulatory solutions.'”
GOP thaw: Check out Louisiana journalist Bob Marshalls’ column, Republicans are softening their views on climate change: here’s why (nola.com) “But the fact that a growing number of Republicans especially the rising generation are now saying conservatives should give environmental protection and especially climate action a prominent place in party policy is the change we need to make any progress,” he writes. “And for Louisiana residents from Baton Rouge to the coast, it’s the change that could well determine if our next generations can even live here.”
EcoRight Speaks: In our continuing series, spokesperson (and summer intern extraordinaire) Ben Mutolo interviews one of our original spokespeople, Jacob Abel, a senior at Seton Hall University. “Conservation goes hand-in-hand with conservatism. In my experience, most people genuinely want to take care of the environment and want to use our resources in moderation and responsibly. Conservatives by their nature don’t want to be wasteful and this lends well to taking action on climate,” Jacob tells Ben, while crediting Bob Inglis for presenting a “conservative approach” to climate that “inspired me to take more action.”
This week’s must read: A new tone for some Republicans on climate changebehind closed doors (Politico) “Republicans are beginning to feel the heat on climate change,” the article reads. “Though a significant bloc of the party continues to deny the basic science of the issue, some senior Republicans are showing a willingness to consider incremental legislation to turbo-charge clean energy research funding, invest in greening buildings, support electric vehicle charging infrastructure and promote energy efficiency.” The story goes on to highlight the efforts of EcoRighter Rep. Francis Rooney, who calls climate change “an existential threat both to the quality of life and to our tourist economy” in Florida.
And one last recommended read, Climate change is a GOP issue too by Tia Nelson and published in the Door County Pulse. “For decades, global warming was a bipartisan issue, and there’s no reason it can’t be again,” she writes. “I consider myself a conservationist, and when I speak to my conservative friends, I remind them that there’s a reason why ‘conservationist’ has ‘conservative’ as its root : Conserving our natural resources is, in fact, a conservative value.”
Okay y’all… I’m ready for recess to be over (related: get out of here, August) and to have more “active actions” to report. Until then, keep at it and thanks for all your feedback and support.