Oxnard Montalvo wrote:I feel you. and I bemoan how much time and energy is needed just to get people (or more specifically Republicans) to acknowledge the problem in the first place. I'd like to think getting Republican legislators to endorse a carbon tax is a step in that direction (otherwise why would they see a carbon tax as necessary?) but again, only as a step not an endpoint.
The big money Republicans don't really make sense to me on this. They know the score. Big oil companies knew about this and suppressed it in the 1970s (Talk about crimes against humanity! If we wind up in a six-degree world, the Nazis will have nothing on these guys.). You have to wonder what their end game is on this, because it is not in the self-interest of life as we know it to continue in the direction of burning fossil fuels. Joe Six-Pack who gets all his news from his Facebook feed and 4Chan can be explained pretty easily as being misled and willfully ignorant. At the very least, I can wrap my head around that. What I can't wrap my head around is being part of the millionaire/billionaire set with all the information right in front of you and sticking with denial. Even if you're in first class on the Titanic, the ship is still sinking. Short-sighted self-interest? I have a hard time believing that they're that clueless. Do they have some Malthusian end-game of geo-politics? Sounds too much like a conspiracy theory. Trapped in a death-spiral? This, sadly makes the most sense. You can be a heroin junkie and know that it is killing you, but still recognize that you're gonna need your next fix. Even so, it is baffling that we are still living in two worlds relative to the basic questions of fact about global warming.
Republican leadership aside, there is the question of how to reach ordinary people who are still in denial. I think here it is a question of framing. That is, as a "national security threat" climate change can appear as a blip on the radar screen. Also, framed as a question of economic growth it can also get traction. Cities in Texas, for example, are leading the way on moving to carbon neutrality
https://www.npr.org/2017/03/07/51906400 ... ble-energy
An interesting quote from Peter Zeihan:
Over the course of the next five years Texas is going to be the number one solar state and probably five to ten years from now guess what the first city in the country is it's going to go 100% Green Power: Dallas Fort Worth.
His contention is that Texans are leading the way, not because they're environmentally sensitive, but because they can see the profit in it and the practicality of it. If he's right, then this sounds like the sort of angle that appeals to conservatives. I think that ordinary citizens can be reached and persuaded on the issue, but we have to let them save face and step out of the corner they've painted themselves into psychologically.
I am still strongly opposed to a carbon tax as too little too late, hurting the poor, and selling off pollution like indulgences. I don't even see it as a stepping stone. We need mandated carbon limits--FULL STOP--do not pass go, do not purchase carbon credits to keep doing business as usual. We need to go full Tesla on our future. We're past the point of being able to manage the situation through moderation and the usually hand-wavy policies. Incentivize purchasing items locally to cut down on the amount of needless shipping we see--does it make sense to you that we raise chickens in the U.S., have them processed in China, and then send them back to the U.S.?--would be great. For example, reverse the polarity of sales tax. Put a sales tax on all Amazon purchases (which sadly is pretty much the same thing as saying "tax all internet sales" which is what I am really saying) and remove all sales taxes from locally produced and sold goods. Build some new nuclear plants. Develop solar power which is getting better all the time. Invest in infrastructure. The most efficient way, by far, to move stuff around on land is by rail. Build more rails and trains and take trucks off the road (truckers are going to lose their jobs to automation anyway).