While conceding the destructive potential of climate change in her reaction to President Obama’s plans to fight climate change, Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill echoed the same faux economic worries that she has cited in the past and that her colleague, Republican Senator Roy Blunt, put forward more forcefully yesterday. She’s worried, she claims, about the potential of curbing carbon emissions to increase energy prices:
Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo, asserted that climate change “is a real and growing threat to the health and livelihoods of Missourians.” But she offered faint praise for some of Obama’s proposal and questioned others.
Proposed carbon rules for existing power plants, McCaskill said, “will need serious review to ensure they don’t harm working families.” She added her preference that the regulations be directed by Congress rather than executive order.
Regulations directed by Congress? Really? Remind me what Congress has done to date to regulate carbon emissions. As I recollect, congressional inaction – or even outright hostility to action – has been the norm in spite of the fact that leading climate scientists have testified in congressional hearings that our current path will lead to disaster. In the face of the congressional politicization of a life-and-death issue, I’m surprised that McCaskill has the chutzpah to try to squelch action with more politics, but, as I am beginning to realize, that’s the way our girl rolls.
I can only repeat what I said apropos of Senator Blunt’s entirely predictable “war on jobs” reaction:
If we could get politicians like Blunt to stop whining about imagined or short-term economic impacts and do something constructive to help us cope with climate change, we’d realize some positive economic benefits as well as an improved quality of life.
Substitute McCaskill for Blunt and add that the road to progress could do without politicians who are more concerned with covering their backsides than doing the right thing, and the assertion would be just as true. Of course, to be fair, McCaskill, who dithered and arguably helped kill the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009, sounds a lot more tentative in her response than she did in 2009. Perhaps if she understands that there are Missourians who support vigorous action on climate change, she’ll work harder to educate those among us who, because they have been misled by corrupt politicians and fossil-fuel industry spokespeople, don’t understand the urgency of the climate change challenge. As noted by the Union of Conerned Scientists:
Climate change carries serious consequences both for humans and for ecosystems. This is a crisis that will affect our food, our national security, our water, our ability to live where we choose, and other basic human needs. Whether and how we address global warming is not a question of science, it’s a question of values.
Kinda makes McCaskill’s implied concerns about energy prices rising a few cents seem kind of puny, doesn’t it? Maybe today would be a good time to send our Democratic Senator an educational email on the topic. Contact her here if you’re so inclined.