Sunday, October 4, 2015

Climate Sunday: Jeb Bush Edition

As is the tradition Strangely Blogged (me) just made up this year, this edition of Climate Sunday is named after the not-necessarily-smarter-brother, Jeb! who reveals his energy policy in this slightly dismal-ending Guardian article:

After the former governor left, the press tent was overcome with fumes from one of the several generators that had been set up in the parking lot.

That's sad, but Bush's energy plan is also pretty damn sad as well, what with calling for relaxed EPA regulations (that certainly isn't acknowledging climate reality!) treating fracking for natural gas like it was the holy grail of clean fossil fuel (it ain't) and saying that approving the Keystone XL pipeline is like low-hanging fruit. He's really got no idea--tar sands are dirty, and Alberta's premier, Rachel Notley, says there's no future in tar sands, the particularly dirty source of fossil fuel that the pipeline is intended to carry, the production of which would financially (short term) affect her area more than it would impact ours. (Unless the pipeline sprung a leak in the midst of America's breadbasket or something, like pipelines sometimes do--that would be a nice terrible impact of no small proportion.)

Jeb Bush, a convert to Catholicism, had also name-checked the Pope, who he prefers to ignore regarding the climate-change issue, which gives me an entry to issuing a bit of a mea culpa: although I might have seemed to have been signing on 100% to the Pope's climate message, there is one area in which it falls short: population control. Without reducing our number of eaters and energy-users on this planet, we are going to continue to create climate-deficits.

It seems like Jeb Bush's notions regarding the environment are about as "stuff happens" in nature as his ideas on gun control, or women's health. Which is a pity, because we are already in the midst of the kind of climate changes where an Alaskan village might want to move to a more environmentally secure area, and where extreme weather events affect people globally, and  at home.

The grim reality of the thousand-year flood of South Carolina should tell us that climate change, and the preparations that need to be made, can't be ignored. Some changes will involve new thinking about city planning and updates to more creative and adaptable technology.

But the biggest change has to be not taking a "stuff happens" attitude with so much on the line. An actual leader needs to have vision and a plan that isn't just more of the same, but prepares us for the future.

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