You know that the environment is an incredibly important topic for me. The issue of climate change is the only issue that could result in the death of every member of every species on the planet. It’s more than just a human issue, but everything on this pale blue dot. There is a Pakistani man that works at the 7-Eleven I visit and he tells me that solar panels are ubiquitous on rural Pakistani homes. That is something that I find to be troubling. Pakistani people have solar panels on their homes, but I can’t name a single home in the county that I live in that I know has solar panels on it.
The people of rural Pakistan are proof that those panels are now within economic reach of anyone. Al Gore is on a media tour to promote his new movie, An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power. (quick side bar, I didn’t see the first movie, and I haven’t seen this one yet). In an interview with Bernie Sanders, on Sander’s podcast, Gore talks about how the price of solar, wind, and geothermal are now at costs to produce electricity that fossil fuels cannot compete, however special interest groups (the fossil fuel industry) are entrenched in the federal government and work actively to prevent their loss of ability to turn a profit using fuels that are destroying the planet.
And here comes the tipping point - the Republican Party is in a much stronger position to deal with industrial and transportation emissions than the Democrats.
Cameron Harley writing for VICE, The Republicans Trying to Fight Climate Denial in Their Own Party:
However, factions of conservatives on the budding “eco-right” aren’t satisfied. They don’t accept an America that takes a backseat to global climate leadership, and they aren’t buying into the “economy versus environment” mindset. They want to bring free market solutions for climate change to the forefront of the GOP and predict a bleak future for the party if it won’t get on board.
People on the right who preach the ideals of the free market must rail against the lies put forth that climate change isn’t real, that solar isn’t generating jobs (which is important to offset the ones that will be lost to legacy energy sources), and that this is a problem that the free market will be able to currently resolve. It will not. Not while the federal government provides the corporate welfare to the fossil fuel industry.
Amber Hall, reporting for PRI, The ‘green Tea Party’ is a conservative group that embraces clean energy:
Dooley says conservatives have undergone a type of Pavlovian conditioning, saying that they have been trained to react negatively to terms like “climate change.”
“I have seen poll after poll that shows with the right message, conservatives, even Tea Party conservatives, by like a two thirds margin, support solar,” she says. “But if you bring climate change into the mix, that will go down. Ronald Reagan said that being good stewards of our environment should not be a partisan issue. I think it is extremely unfortunate that special interests have made this a partisan issue. It should not be, and I’m working to change that.”
And that is the problem, the “Pavlovian conditioning” that Dooley talks about. Despite that climate change and a predominantly solar energy infrastructure being yoked together, they are not the same thing. Climate change is a conversation about stopping the destruction of our entire planet. Solar is a conversation about providing inexpensive energy to consumers that does not result in an expensive bill to clean up the damage done by coal, oil, or nuclear.
I have faith that the Republican Party, regardless of if they think that climate change is some sort of fraud, will practice what they preach and tear down any legislation that empowers fossil fuel companies to compete on a playing field slanted in their favor.
On a related note, Kenya has made use of plastic bags a crime. If Kenya can legislate environmentally friendly laws, why are we having a hard time with it?