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I know lots of people who consider “politician” a dirty word. They figure it describes someone who’ll utter whatever contradictions it takes to please different voters. In that respect, I’d consider Claire McCaskill a politician. On her website, she pretends she understands the seriousness of global warming:

Global warming threatens our health, our environment and our national security. In Missouri, warmer average temperatures could increase heat-related deaths in the summer months and infection of insect-born diseases, such as West Nile Virus. It will also contribute to droughts and floods that lead to property damage. Over time, these higher temperatures are expected to alter the state’s environment — changing the trees in our forests, the fish in our rivers and further reducing the state’s vanishing wetlands.

Then she opposes the cap and trade legislation.

I expect that kind of behavior from Kit Bond. Senator Briggs & Stratton says, oh sure he says, that global warming is a problem, but three years ago he opposed lawn mower emissions reform. A lawn mower can emit as much air pollution in an hour as a car does in 13 hours, but Bond stopped Feinstein’s legislation because Briggs & Stratton had two plants in Missouri.

Someday, he’ll be saying, “Well, we would have saved the planet, but we figured it would cost too much.” Or maybe, in a rare fit of honesty, he’ll be more specific: “Well, we would have saved the planet, but it would have damaged the bottom line for Briggs & Stratton and Peabody Coal.”

Now Bond is saying the same thing about cap and trade as he did about lawn mowers:

“This is being pushed, absolutely, by the people of California and the people of New England who don’t rely on coal for electricity,” he said.

San Francisco flower children did not dream up this legislation. And the maddening part is that cap and trade will not cost coal dependent states more. As Clark pointed out here:

Congress Matters has a handy summary of the American Clean Energy and Security Act which points out that 32% of the allowances through 2025 will be given to regulated utilities to keep electricity rates low for consumers.

Furthermore, investing in alternative energy will give our economy a huge boost. What will cost us is if we’re late coming to the alternative energy industry. China is already revving up, getting seriously into building windmill generators.

But. I expect ideological, short sighted foot dragging  from Kit Bond.

The galling part is that I’ve come to expect short sighted foot dragging from Claire McCaskill as well. Last June, she tweeted that coal dependent states would end up paying too much under cap and trade. At least she didn’t repeat that canard in the Wednesday Post-Dispatch article, but she did bemoan the need for all these regulations:

“I haven’t been convinced yet that the cap-and-trade system is the way to address climate change,” she said. “We don’t want to create another market that is fraught with problems and not enough oversight. We just went through a meltdown because of problems with Wall Street and investment firms.”

Two observations: First, the problem with Wall Street wasn’t too much regulation but too little. And second, waiting around for the spirit of cooperation to move all American businesses is a recipe for disaster. You want more oversight? Add amendments to the bill.

Her other objection is that she doesn’t want us to let China and India continue to pollute while we play the sucker and rein in our emissions. Cutting our air pollution doesn’t make us a sucker. It positions us to deal with a planet that is changing. And besides, you sound like a five year old whining that Bobby got a bigger piece of the cake than you did. I want my Democratic senator to be an adult, who, by example, leads Americans–and Chinese, and Indians–to do what they know they must.

Repeat after me, Claire. Save the damn planet! Do not fiddle while earth burns.