February 25, 2007
Wanted: Effective, Green-Speaking Republicans

Off the top of your head, name a prominent Republican in Washington State who talks a good game on the environment. You know, someone who has stood on the proverbial stage with Democrats and offered a compelling case for Republican positions on related issues

I can't think of one.

I can think of a few that could if they wanted to, but none that currently fit the bill. This can hardly be considered a good thing.

Republicans seem to have largely ceded the issue in this state, at least rhetorically. Just look for example at the agendas at the respective caucus websites in the state Legislature. The House and Senate Democrats feature their agenda on the environment, Republicans in the House and Senate don't.

One need not be a great expert in the history of Washington state politics to know conservation of the natural beauty that surrounds us is generally a winning issue. Sure, Republicans and Democrats often have very different approaches to accomplishing similar goals, even where some consensus exists. Either way, one of the easiest attack points for Democrats in recent years has been to castigate their opponents for perceived vulnerabilities on the environment. Republicans should be more proactive in confronting the issue and thus mitigate the weakness.

The escalating policy debate around global warming offers such an opportunity and is an increasingly important topic in both Washington, DC and Olympia. We discussed that angle previously a bit here at Sound Politics, including mention of the importance of understanding the natural shift in debate from whether the Earth is warming (whatever the cause) to serious discussion of policy "solutions."

One notable Republican, South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford, recently weighed in on the issue with an op-ed in the Washington Post. The column itself isn't replete with rhetorical flourish, but does accurately convey the value of being a "conservative conservationist." Why? Well, as Sanford enunciates, a policy debate with broad environmental and economic consequences is unfolding. Republicans better be prepared to play a constructive role in it.

Accordingly, and based on the recent escalation in debate around actual environmental policies to supposedly address global warming, it is quite reasonable to expect related policy discussions will be a top-tier issue in the 2008 elections. Republicans better hope they have a Presidential nominee who can find the right balance on the issue.

Thus far, John McCain has come out in support of aggressive global warming-related policies in California, supporting the doctrinal view that the problem "is largely due to human activity." This is yet another reminder of why many conservatives don't trust the "Maverick", since the conservative position remains that even if one accepts global warming is largely a function of man, the proposed "remedies" have unacceptable societal costs (for more on this point see columns by Jonah Goldberg and Robert Samuelson).

In contrast Mitt Romney has announced he's squarely on the Sanford side of the debate, not the McCain-Lieberman-Obama side and its call for "mandatory caps." Meanwhile, Giuliani hasn't clearly articulated a position, though this video indicates he's somewhere in between McCain and Romney.

Environmental policy is rarely a hot topic with the Republican base, unless one is talking about objectionable proposals infringing on property rights, limiting individual choice, etc. Yet, it would certainly help the conservative cause locally if more Republicans could speak with authority and conviction on such issues. Now would be an excellent time to start addressing the problem since the '08 standard bearer will need to be articulate about such issues as well.

UPDATE: A couple folks, including Stefan, have added suggestions in the comments on competent Republican speakers. Personally, I think Cathy McMorris Rodgers can be quite good on these issues, but as an Eastern Washington Republican doesn't address the void in the 'burbs where the issue of the environment has been used to great political effect by Democrats. Meanwhile, Doug Sutherland can be good as well, but the Commissioner of Public Lands doesn't by definition have a notable role in a number of the environmental issues of the day. I'd welcome other suggestions for Republicans who can step up to the plate, though I think the bigger issue locally is having some consistency in Republicans in the aggregate being willing and able to talk about these matters with some skill.

Posted by Eric Earling at February 25, 2007 07:35 PM | Email This
Comments
1. Eric, what about Bill Ruckelshaus or Republicans for Environmental Protection?

Posted by: Stefan Sharkansky on February 25, 2007 07:57 PM
2. Rep. Doug Ericksen (R-42nd) has a masters in environmental policy, and is an excellent speaker.

Posted by: peter on February 25, 2007 07:57 PM
3. Jonah Goldberg as a serious thinker? Please.

••••

Of course the sad truth is that the reason why Republicans aren't presnt in the environmental debates is because, uh...well, they are Republicans and they come from a long institutional history of saying everything is just dandy.

There have been very few Republicans who have done anything worth noting. I'd say (somewhat hesitantly) Dan Evans is one of the very few -- (the Republicans of the City Councils of the 70's look like mainstream Democrats) and he is hardly a Republican by today's standards.

(Bill Ruckelhaus is certainly a decent man but I think that history will say that he has not done a whole lot either on the national much less state level.)

Posted by: David Sucher on February 25, 2007 08:13 PM
4. Eric,
So you think it's important for Republicans "to act like Democrats" on the environment? Huh?
How about urging Republicans to speak out on unreasonable regulations (wetlands, land use, and growth management are but three examples)? They should also stand up against dumb proposals (as foisted forward by Algore et al). How about educating and leading the public on issues rather than playing rope-a-dope on environmental initiatives that have little or no basis in FACT or SCIENCE?
Let's be clear, the Dems are extremists on the environment yet NO ONE in the GOP (around WA state anyway) has the courage to stand up and tell it like it is -- including on issues such as global ha-ha-ha warming.
Sounds like you are part of the "me-too agenda" rationale that IF ONLY the Republicans would act more like Dems everything would work out better at the polls and in the legislative arena. WRONG!
The GOP needs to set its own, independent agenda based on FACTS and TRUTH rather than allowing fear to drive the agenda. Oh, the poor polar bears and penguins. Bwahahahahaha.
All we see is the GOP hiding its collective heads about what should be done to protect the environment and playing defense when these issues arise. No wonder they lose on this and other key issues such as pro-life and homosexual marriage. It is time for the GOP to chart their own course AND represent the people for a change. Being a "me-too" party is why there have been systematic losses at the polls and this will continue until we see some courage and leadership on key issues of importance.

Posted by: anony on February 25, 2007 08:40 PM
5. Great, so we need to find someone who will stand up as a Republican and tell lies about Global Warming, and that Recycling is good for the environment. Isn't that what Democrats are for?

How about David Mathews.

Posted by: Jeff B. on February 25, 2007 08:52 PM
6. Unlike many here, I lived through the whole history of the "Environmentalist" movement. It grew out of the myriad Marxist revolutionary cells that dominated the "New Left" as it roared out of the sixties. Allow me to quote myself:

"In January, 1972, [Radical Left] movement leaders officially founded the flagship organization, "Greenpeace," combining socialist (Communist-by-other-names) politics, pagan spiritualism and extensive distortion of the fledgling pseudo-science of ecology. Almost all of it was based on lies. Overnight the Marxist movement in America took on a new look. All the forces of the leftist media turned from a focus on Southeast Asia to a focus on "the threat posed to the world's environment" by capitalism. The coordinated transformation was astonishing and breathtaking to behold and also extraordinarily successful because it could avoid association with the regimes in Russia and China." You can read the rest of that fundamental article: HERE

"Environmentalism" has nothing to do with the environment. It has everything to do with trasferring all power and economic rights from the people to Government. It is antithetical to American freedom and that has been its whole purpose since its inception. It is absolutely, totally Democrat in nature: a road to socialist tyranny.

A Republican who could go toe-to-toe with Democrats on "Environmentalism" would make that clear as a first order of business. Anything less will simply replicate the impotency of the GOP during the FDR years when we tried to tell America we wanted to do the same thing as the New Deal, but cheaper. It's laughable. The Republican Party absolutely must deal with the enormnity of the lies of Environmentalists: Their knee-jerk opposition to freedom, technology, private property, industry and business.

Like Primordial Islam, "Environmentalism" cannot be assimilated; it cannot be accomodated; it must be crushed.

Posted by: Doug Parris on February 25, 2007 08:53 PM
7. Hello Doug Parris,

> Like Primordial Islam, "Environmentalism" cannot be assimilated; it cannot be accomodated; it must be crushed.

What a sick, disgusting, bigoted, prejudiced, near-genocidal thought.

A thoroughly sick, bigoted, prejudiced, near-genocidal thought coming from a conservative.

Doug, do you know the history of your own religion and your own nation and Western civilization?

Let's just say it like this: Western civilization is more violent than the Muslim civilization.

and ...

Christianity is more violent than Islam.

and ...

The Bible is more violent and more graphically violent than the Qur'an.

and ...

The United States of America has committed terrorist acts which greatly exceed 9/11 in its human death toll and resulted in the total annihilation of cities.

Posted by: David Mathews on February 25, 2007 08:59 PM
8. Eric - Ralph Munro

Posted by: AP on February 25, 2007 09:07 PM
9. Stefan -

I think Bill Ruckelshaus, fairly or not, falls into the same category as Dan Evans. Both still consider themselves Republicans but aren't viewed by many of their fellow Republicans in the same way. Meanwhile, while Ruckelshaus certainly has a long resume in environmental issues, he doesn't have the same profile a local elected official would...something the Party could really use.

As to Republicans for Environmental Protection, is anyone aware of them taking a prominent role in related debates here in Washington? I'm not, but am curious what others have seen or heard from them.

Posted by: Eric Earling on February 25, 2007 09:22 PM
10. Anony & Jeff B -

I'm not advocating for a second that Republicans adopt a "me-too" approach to mirror what Democrats are doing. What I am saying is that voters in Washington state, particularly in the Puget Sound area, have indicated environmental issues are important to them. Why aren't Republicans talking about their agenda on such issues more? Their silence is a wasted opportunity and a political liability, especially with the growing debate about policies Democrats are pushing related to their vision of "global warming."

Posted by: Eric Earling on February 25, 2007 09:30 PM
11. Dave Matthews,

You make outlandish claims with absolutely nothing to back it up.

Right now there are no Christian leaders (priests, bishops, the Pope, etc, etc) who advocate violence. Yet there are countless "imams" who preach hatred and the justification of killing Americans and Israelis and even each other.

How on Earth do you reconcile what is happening every day with what you are saying?!?

Now as for the subject at hand (Dave is always trying to change the subject), it doesn't help Republicans to sound green when Republicans slander and make personal attacks against those who are genuinely green.

If Nixon created the EPA, Republicans certainly have the capacity to be green.

Posted by: Dave Matthews scum on February 25, 2007 09:37 PM
12. So, David Matthews, who would you rather live amongest in your neighborhood--a blockful of wahabbist Muslims who want you to convert or die? Or a bunch of christians who go to church and teach their kids scriptures like "Love your neighbor" and "You shall not steal?" or "Do unto others as you would have them to to you?"
Just wondered.
(I'll take the christians)

Posted by: Misty on February 25, 2007 09:39 PM
13. Hello Misty,

> So, David Matthews, who would you rather live amongest in your neighborhood--a blockful of wahabbist Muslims who want you to convert or die?

I live among Muslims, Misty. I see Muslims almost every day -- Muslim husbands, Muslim wives, Muslim daughters, Muslim sons and Muslim children. Almost every day, I see these Muslims, and I have done so for a very long time.

The Muslims that I see are lovely people, beautiful people, peaceful people, and altogether good people. I have never felt threatened by a Muslim, not once, although there were many occasions in which I have encountered a threatening American.

I love the Muslims. All of the Muslims.

> Or a bunch of christians who go to church and teach their kids scriptures like "Love your neighbor" and "You shall not steal?" or "Do unto others as you would have them to to you?"

Christians have quoted these commands for two millennia. Throughout this entire time period, Christians have also covered the entire Earth with blood by their violence.

Christians who actually practice the above commands will behave in the same manner as I do, and they will love the Muslims, love all of the Muslims too.

Jesus demands that I love the Muslims and protect them from the sort of hate and prejudice which have become so very common among Americans over the last five years.

Christians who hate the Muslims blaspheme Christ: This is a non-negotiable doctrine of the Christian faith.

Posted by: David Mathews on February 25, 2007 10:13 PM
14. There is a difference between responsible environmentalism and radical environmentalism. There is no use for the Republicans to try to win the battle on the environment because no matter what responsible action they would recommend, the media would swallow up the more radical action proposed by those further left resulting in any Republican candidate being less environmental friendly than the opposition.

They merely need to be seen as being not unfriendly to the environment, then they can battle for the hearts and minds of Puget Sound with what really is more important: Education, far and away, with transportation coming in a bit later.

The real albatross around Republican's necks is the perception that they are against public education, it's not the environment issue.

Posted by: Doug on February 25, 2007 10:29 PM
15. Mr. Matthews,
Literally everything you've said, here, is a lie. And without any documentation to boot. That the Environmentalist movement is antithetical to Americanism is substantially supported by your bigoted post. I appreciate it. Thanks.

Posted by: Doug Parris on February 25, 2007 10:48 PM
16. I know some people are going to disagree with me on this, but I think Dave Reichert is doing an excellent job speaking the so-called "green language." Furthermore, he represents the "burbs" that Eric, Matt, and others here have articulated as being increasingly important to GOP electoral outcomes.

I can give you a few examples. First, see this article he wrote back in 2006 on the National Parks for the Seattle Times. Second, see this article he wrote on technology solving our energy crisis for the Seattle PI late last month.

I also recall an article in the Times showcasing Reichert's "green" side in the last election cycle.

So there you have it...

Posted by: Patrick on February 25, 2007 10:52 PM
17. If a Republican scoffs at Global Warming in Washington ... does that mean there is no one their to listen???

Posted by: Pacific Grove Phlash on February 25, 2007 11:19 PM
18. The remedy to the "global warming" hysteria if carried to it's logical extreme is the greatest threat to life and liberty that I've know in my lifetime.

The Republican response should not be to "me too" the Democratic response to this hysteria but to expose the death wish that motivates it.

The hardcore environmentalists have no delusions about what is required to reduce greenhouse gases by even a slight amount: an end to industrial civilization. And they are right. The greenhouse gases produced by man are such a small percentage of those that naturally occur that to make any difference the man made contribution would have to be drastically reduced or more likely eliminated.

You are not going to achieve this reduction by trading in your SUV for a Prius. You do by dying in the hundreds of millions when private transportation is banned, when industry is shut down, when farming has to rely on manual labor and drilling for oil is prohibited. The population of the United States cannot exist at the pre-industrial level. We would be facing famines that would dwarf those in Mao's China.

You think this is hyperbole? If man's well being was of any concern to the environmentalists they would be pushing nuclear power. It emits no greenhouse gases after all. But to the Church of Global Warming nuclear power is the antichrist. Well, if the Prince of Lightness is not for them, how about solar, hydro, tidal or that greenest of all power sources the windmill? Nope! The environmentalists are just not interested in any power sources whatsoever. Their mantra is sacrifice for the sake of sacrifice.

Posted by: Bill K. on February 25, 2007 11:26 PM
19. Hello Bill,

> If man's well being was of any concern to the environmentalists they would be pushing nuclear power.

I am an environmentalists and I hate nuclear power. No deal. Any other ideas?

> Well, if the Prince of Lightness is not for them, how about solar, hydro, tidal or that greenest of all power sources the windmill?

These alternative power sources are possible (and profitable) only within the context of cheap, nearly limitless supplies of fossil fuels (oil, natural gas, and coal).

Given that the fossil fuels are depleting and in danger of running out within a century, these alternative power sources will likely go extinct within that same time frame.

At some point humans will have no choice except to live without electricity. If Homo sapiens cannot survive without electricity, the species will likely go extinct.

> The population of the United States cannot exist at the pre-industrial level. We would be facing famines that would dwarf those in Mao's China.

Yes, this is the future of America. The nation's population is going to rise to 400 million while the fossil fuels are burned away into atmospheric pollution.

Combine climate change with the depletion of the fossil fuels and what you get is an apocalypse. The future is bleak. America will suffer.

Posted by: David Mathews on February 25, 2007 11:45 PM
20. As usual everything David Matthews says is a lie. I especially like the part about the peaceful Muslims who live in his neighborhood. I'd really LIKe to know which neighborhood is that, since I don't see any Muslims around mine.

Posted by: Manco_Dollars on February 26, 2007 12:37 AM
21. David Matthews:

Didn't you know that suffering is good for the soul? Why are you so admantly against it?

Posted by: Manco_Dollars on February 26, 2007 12:57 AM
22. misty 12--dont waste your time.

my suggestions for DM to move out if America & the Bible are so reviled by him go unchallenged. easier to slam everything with your laptop from a comfy home & fireplace with a hot beverage. ivory tower excercizes. none in the trenches. video virtual jabs at enemies who don't shoot real live life rounds back at you. high score again, DM!!! ya hoo. ('tilt' light on)

moving out to any other so-called "more enlightened" country or among "better" cultures is a great walk-the-talk exercise. alas, it yields substantially less opportunities to freely & safely hate & criticize anything diasgreed with--especially governments and religions.

as i say, try that in Lybia, Cuba or Yemen.

Posted by: jimmie-howya-doin on February 26, 2007 04:47 AM
23. Hello Jimmie,

A person who advocates expelling political dissent is an opponent of freedom & democracy.

You are emulating the behaviors of Libya, Cuba, and Yemen. I guess that you really don't love freedom so much, do you?

Americans who advocate prejudice & bigotry are opponents of freedom. These Americans would drag America into a perpetual genocidal war against Islam and hence they are a danger to America's future and the survival of our nation.

Those who advocate peace love America.

Those who advocate peace love America.

Those who advocate peace love America.

How many times do I have to say it?

And those Muslims that I see every day? They are Americans! Why shouldn't I love them? Why shouldn't I protect them from hatred, prejudice and bigotry? Why shouldn't I defend their religious freedom?

And those Muslims that live in other countries: Why shouldn't I protect these people from American militarism and the violent deaths which are caused by American bombs & bullets?

Perpetual war for perpetual peace is one of the biggest lies of George W. Bush and the neocon neocolonials. Those who love peace must live in a peaceful manner.

Posted by: David Mathews on February 26, 2007 05:52 AM
24. Mr. M,
Why don't you shut up for a while on this thread and allow it to get back on topic -- that is Eric's musings about the GOP acting more like Dems on environmental issues... So far you have done a great job in diverting attention towards radical Islam and "loving America" -- and you obviously know nothing about either topic.

Posted by: anony on February 26, 2007 06:57 AM
25. Hello anony,

I am all in favor of the GOP behaving in an environmentally responsible manner. I'd be pleased if the GOP simply behaved in a responsible manner, but that is perhaps too much to ask.

The GOP better get an handle on this environmental issue because otherwise it will suffer harshly from the public's wrath over the next several decades. The fossil fuel industries have owned the White House since George W. Bush has become president.

Undoubtedly things will change in 2009 when there is a Democrat in the White House and the Democrats solidify their control over congress. The Republicans better wake up to the new reality or they suffer politically.

As to the question of my diverting this thread from its topic, my defense of the Muslims was made necessary by the Doug Parris' bigoted post (#6). Such statements demand a response, so I responded.

Posted by: David Mathews on February 26, 2007 07:28 AM
26. Doug @ 14 makes an excellent point I agree with: education and transportation are bigger problems for Republicans in suburban districts than the environment. However, my point remains that with the rise of global-warming related policy debates, there is a vacuum from the GOP in responding articulately. If the GOP doesn't fill it, Democrats will.

Posted by: Eric Earling on February 26, 2007 07:31 AM
27. When he still lived here, Bob Strauss was an organizing member of an organization known as "the green elephants." Site linked. I don't know if they are still active in Washington state or not. The biggest problem is that we've ceded the argument to the left. They work from the premise that unless we adopt their whack job, Chicken Little - "The world is about to end" position and mentality that, "We just don't care." The REAL truth is that, of course we care. No one, regardless of political affiliation wants to live in a trash heap and one of the reasons we choose to live in Washington because of its natural beauty - which we want to protect and preserve for posterity. Just don't ask me (us) (Thanks Dixie Lee Ray) to buy into your insanity.

Posted by: Jamie Walker on February 26, 2007 08:16 AM
28. It's a losing battle Eric, look who you are dealing with. The Dave Matthews types (of which even the Puget Sound is full of) and the MSM have the Bush White House living it up in fossil fuels. They fail to mention that fossil fuel consumption and CO2 emissions went DOWN during the Bush presidency, that they were higher during the Clinton Presidency. They also say No Way to nuclear energy, one of the cleanest sources of energy there is, albeit more expensive.

They are irrational, plain and simple, and as such we can't win the discussion on environment, republicans just have to reach a minimum standard on that issue, and work on other issues. The mistake with Dan Evans and the like is that they reached the minimum standard then decided to blow right through it, thus becoming beholden to those irritional influences, becoming Puget Sound Republicans.

Posted by: Doug on February 26, 2007 08:20 AM
29. Hello Doug,

> They also say No Way to nuclear energy, one of the cleanest sources of energy there is, albeit more expensive.

No way to nuclear energy. Absolute, Doug, absolutely no way.

Nuclear energy is officially classified as a really bad idea. Just one of many terrible ideas that humankind generated during the insanity of the 20th century.

Albert Einstein was a genius but he would have done the world a favor if he had hidden his genius. Nuclear energy, nuclear bombs ... nothing good can come from either of these. Albert Einstein ought to have remained in the Patent Office and spent his life in obscurity.

No on Nuclear. I hope you have some other ideas ...

Posted by: David Mathews on February 26, 2007 08:54 AM
30. Some interesting perspectives, worthy of consideration, have been offered by Toby Nixon - see his remarks on environmental protection at his June 14, 2006 Campaign Kickoff
June 14 speech - available online at http://www.tobynixon.com/news.htm#a178

Posted by: Steve Beren on February 26, 2007 09:06 AM
31. Toby Nixon: "They say they care about the environment, but they don’t seem to understand the essential link between a robust economy and environmental protection."

Eh ... what planet does Toby Nixon inhabit?

Certainly it is not the Earth. Humankind's robust economy has transformed the Earth from a living planet into humankind's own special sewer. Pollution is everywhere: The atmosphere, the ocean, the land.

Humans have made an absolute mess of the Earth. Humans are going to pay a big price for this mess.

Except that Nature doesn't accept assess penalies in money. Nature is harsh and it only assesses its punishments in blood.

Billions of humans will die. Technological civilization will collapse. The United States of America will cease to exist as a nation.

Homo sapiens will be pushed to the edge of extinction, and perhaps beyond ...

That's the end of the human story. There's no utopia in humankind's future. An apocalypse is occurring right now and we don't even notice it. Once it become so obvious that everyone begins to notice, it will be too late and that will be the end of the human story.

What does it profit a species if it gains the entire world but drives itself to extinction? What is the price that a species will place upon its own survival?

Posted by: David Mathews on February 26, 2007 09:18 AM
32. "Humans have made an absolute mess of the Earth. Humans are going to pay a big price for this mess." really? like your much loved China? and Africa? and India? any lectures from you to them or is that not "tolerant" and "diverse?" only AMerica is the bugagoo? any snipes at the EU?

more gloom & doom from DM. or, is it D(oo)M? still feel bad? then take the gas pipe & leave more resources for the rest of us.

your car? none? your home? a simple earth tunnel? or something in Tent City to save resources? your pc & electricity comsumption? all justified.

like the Gores of the world flying in jets, lecturing everybody else and burning fuel which they loathe. ok for a Kennedy compound eating resources, space & energy. bad for little me in a modest small bungalow. double standard. when blowhard legislators & Hollywood gods sell their excessive holdings & lands, i'll be right behind them.

and those 'energy taxes" on us bad boys: what's to be 'fair?" YOUR interpretation? some socialist legislator's? back to the horse & buggy?

Posted by: jimmie-howya-doin on February 26, 2007 10:04 AM
33. DM--doommeister--grab any 25 people from anywhere on the earth--ask them to voluntairly REDUCE/give back their wealth or life improvements (yes--like gas engines), however simple. can't be done on self-guilt & nation loathing (like yours) alone.

from a rice paddy to a skyscraper, people will seek & use betterments, improvements and advantages for their families & selves. what organism on earth ever sought to DE-evolve?!

from a simple charcoal stove to a SubZero refrig. let people choose. if they choose their own demise (which i doubt en masse worldwide overall) then so be it. Darwin.

your 'world solutions' seem to be guilt, self-hate and wealth redistribution using the same ideals. didnt we try this in the Old SOviet?

Posted by: jimmie-howya-doin on February 26, 2007 10:53 AM
34. Environmental concerns fit quite nicely with Republican (and Libertarian) ideals, actually.

In fact, I would say it is one of the rare issues where the federal government may trump state sovereignty.

The power of self defense is the one right/responsibility which is legitimately delegated to civil authority, and true environmental protection is merely the outworking of this right.

With good science, human harm resulting from irresponsible action is EXACTLT what the government is authorized to penalize.

Democrats, however, use vague and unspecified environmental hazards to engage in social engineering.

Likewise, Democrats are inclined to cover mere aesthetic preference in the garb of environmental hazard. Ironically, they want to make population live more densly, but then decry the ugliness of dense population. Their answer? buy more rural land or add regulations to prevent ugliness.

If Republicans can identify the ideal (self protection) and can require a fair documentation of the harms of human behavior, then a robust Republican environmental agenda is quite possible.

The science is the hard part of this, for never will there be enough proof for those with a self interest. Likewise, ANY proof is sufficient for those with an aesthetic or social engineering objective.

The problem is that the only people weighing in are in one or the other camp, and they both know the ulterior motives of the other.

Posted by: anon on February 26, 2007 10:57 AM
35. This is great. Real sci-fi philosophy. Actually, marxism and the Bible sort of agree on this issue of the "end of civilization as we know it". There are, of course, a few minor differences....
Sin, in the Bible is not "overpopulation," it is killing the innocent. Sin, in the Bible is not Pollution of the Earth, but pollution of the soul of man. Hatred, mockery, slander, pride will kill a man to depth of his the soul. The Bible predicts Fire falling upon the Earth, but not because of cars...or factories. The End Time Battles will be nuclear... caused by the hatred and bitterness in the soul of man.

Posted by: ljm on February 26, 2007 11:15 AM
36. David Mathews, you are the epitome of liberalism. You think you're so grand, so peaceful, so open-minded, so full of love and tolerance but really you're just here to spew your hate-speech against Americans and Christians. Do yourself and all the rest of us a favor and get your ass out of this country you despise so much. Move to Iran or Syria or go join Al-Qaeda. And take Alec Baldwin with you. You are a sick, sick excuse for a human being and unless you change your tune you will be all consumed by your hate and end up like the rest of the wahabist Muslims, burning in Hell.

Posted by: WarmFuzzyPuppies on February 26, 2007 12:10 PM
37. Wow, this board is a magnet for nutjobs, from both the left AND the right. Totally distracted me from an otherwise interesting debate about the GOP and the environment.

Posted by: nutjob coordinator on February 26, 2007 12:51 PM
38. David Matthews said: What does it profit a species if it gains the entire world but drives itself to extinction? What is the price that a species will place upon its own survival?

Whaaaaaaaaaaa-bewhaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa! We're all gonna die I tell ya, we're all gonna die! And its the Republicans fault I tell ya! Whaaaaaaaa!!!

Posted by: anony on February 26, 2007 12:58 PM
39. To get back to the original questoin, I have a nomination: Toby Nixon, for his vote against the dirty fill bill, SSB 5787, a few years ago. SSB 5787 permitted the Port of Seattle to use lax testing criteria for fill dumped on top of the Highline Aquifer, which is a backup to the City of Seattle's water system, as a part of the third runway project. The tests the Port wanted to use, and ultimately got legislative approval to use, were wildly inaccurate: that's why they wanted to use them, they'd say "all clean" even if the levels of toxics, like arsenic and lead, were far above the levels permitted for the project.

By the way I sent a letter to a Woodinville paper about the hit piece attack ads. I live far away from his district but that ad was really obnoxious.

Posted by: Stuart Jenner on February 26, 2007 02:37 PM
40. Here are a few options:

Fred Jarrett (R-41) clearly has the best credentials and does more than throw a few half-hearted votes towards the greenies every once in a while.

Skip Priest (R-30) is in a similar league as Fred, and is also a leader on the issues surrounding Hylebos Creek.

Jim DiPeso of Republicans for Envioronmental Protection is a wonderful speaker & can talk the walk.

Posted by: kds on February 26, 2007 03:48 PM
41. Luke Esser, our state party chair is a big environmentalist and was endorsed by them in the last election.

Posted by: Whacky on February 26, 2007 04:33 PM
42. Well, well, well ...

I'd engage in some sort of argument with some of these people who responded to my posts, but that appears altogether unnecessary.

Anony's eloquence is impressive:

> We're all gonna die I tell ya, we're all gonna die! And its the Republicans fault I tell ya!

Yes, anony, we are all going to die. Humans do not possess immortality either as individuals or as a species.

There is approximately six hundred million years of evidence that extinction is the universal fate of all species. Homo sapiens aren't exempt from the laws of Nature.

And: No, I don't blame the Republicans for the mess that humankind has made of this Earth. As far as I can tell, destructiveness is a universal human trait common to all the people of this world.

Republicans have contributed to the mess, Democrats have as well: All Americans are guilty. Americans of all political persuasions are equally unwilling to make any sacricifes as well.

We are here dealing with a problem intrinsic to Homo sapiens and therefore a problem which transcends political, religious, and socioeconomic boundaries.

We are all guilty for this mess that humans have made of the Earth. I am as guilty as anyone else.

Undoubtedly we are all going to die, and Homo sapiens will go extinct. Such is the tragedy of our situation.

Posted by: David Mathews on February 26, 2007 07:09 PM
43. Ron Ewart of Issaquah, an author we post regularly, would be a spectacular spokesperson for the Republican position on Environment vs. Environmentalists. I asked him to post here, but he had trouble with the interface, so I'm posting his comments here:

"REPUBLICAN ENVIRONMENTAL SPOKESPERSON"

There is an old saying, "a man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still." So the question is, not what Republican should be the environmental spokesman, but how do you convince a very large segment of the population (mostly liberals) that radical environmentalism is a sham, a con and propaganda of the worst order, as is global warming. Radical environmentalism came to us out of the United Nations that was hatched in three UN conferences on social and environmental issues. At the Rio conference a position paper was drafted entitled Agenda 21.

See
http://www.un.org/esa/sustdev/documents/agenda21/index.htm


Agenda 21 has been codified into American law by executive orders under President Clinton without a treaty being signed or debated and then ratified by the U. S. Congress. Agenda 21 is used to brainwash our children in K-12. Colleges, the most liberal institutions on the planet, teach Agenda 21 in environmental courses, which then train urban planners in "smart growth" and "sustainable development" regimens that then are used to influence public policy or bureaucratic regulations. Government institutions have been totally infiltrated by these urban planners. The deck is stacked against anyone who does not agree with them.

The entire premise of radical environmentalism is based on three false premises:

1. Man is a stain on the Earth and must be relegated to large urban centers.
2. The environment, i.e. wetlands, flora, fish and animal habitat, have a greater priority than humans.
3. Environmental law supercedes constitutional law.

Until there is a massive educational shift to counter the flaws in radical environmentalism, Republicans can speak until they are blue in the face and the brainwashed population won't believe a word. We must push one single thought in every venue that is available to us. That one thought is:

"Protecting the environment is laudable.
Trashing the Constitution to do it is treasonous."

If said often enough, eventually the people will believe it

Posted by: Doug Parris for Ron Ewart on February 26, 2007 07:49 PM
44. Hello Doug,

Those three principles are not false:

> 1. Man is a stain on the Earth and must be relegated to large urban centers.

Have you noticed what humans have already done to the Earth? Humans are much worse than a stain on the Earth. Humans are more like a plague upon the Earth.

Humans consume everything and create desolate, lifeless wastelands. Humans have made a mess of the Earth. Humans have transformed the only living planet in the Universe into humankind's own special sewer.

> 2. The environment, i.e. wetlands, flora, fish and animal habitat, have a greater priority than humans.

This is a senseless statement. All of the other animals live within the environment so there is never any choice between animal vs. ecosystem. Humankind's great sin is that humans eradicate environments.

Humans should live at peace with the environment. But if humans refuse to live at peace with Nature, Nature will exterminate humankind and repopulate the Earth with millions of new species to replace those that humankind has driven extinct.

Nature cannot help but win this battle. For that reason wisdom suggests that humans stop fighting this futile war against Nature.

> 3. Environmental law supercedes constitutional law.

What does this mean? Please clarify and then I might have an opinion.

Posted by: David Mathews on February 26, 2007 08:24 PM
45. Eric

Your old boss, Senator Skeletor, was fairly decent about the environment.

If you are looking for those who avoid science, and want to save snail darters at any cost, you probably won't find any.

Posted by: The Geezer on February 26, 2007 08:55 PM
46. Dave, I wanted to thank you for the boldfacing you use in your posts.

It makes them that much easier to skip over, so we can get past the ravings of treason and support for those who would destroy this country and deal with the perspectives of those who actually wish this country well.

Keep up the good work and remember, more boldface is better!

Posted by: Hinton on February 26, 2007 09:56 PM
47. Dave,

I don't know what more I can say. You keep making my case for me. The global warming scam is tailor made for your misanthropism. You rip the warm, fuzzy public facade off environmentalism and expose the nihiism that lies at its core.

You must look with scorn on those environmental diletantes who don't share your hatred for man. But then again they can be your useful idiots.

I'm suprised to see you give us another 100 years of oil and another 100 million in population. This is awfully optimistic for a doom and gloom guy like yourself. I'd thought you'd only give us another 10 years at most. But then have been an a lot of oil discoveries lately. Well you can always threaten us with those dreadful Water World senarios and the horrific two or three degree temperature rise.

Posted by: Bill K. on February 26, 2007 10:43 PM
48. "Doug" in his comments earlier today said that CO2 and "fossil fuel consumption" were higher in the Clinton era than the following Bush era.

Since this didn't seem right on the face of it - I checked fossil fuel consumption at the department of energy website. [www.eia.doe.gov/emeu/aer/pdf/pages/sec1_9.pdf]

Found that every year since 1948 fossil fuel consumption grew from the year before except for 1974-75, 1980-83, 1990-91, 2001, 2005* (*preliminary). Don't these generally track with recessions?

From 1992-1999 the consumption of fossil fuels ranged from 73,519 quad btu's to 82,650. From 2000-2005 the consumption ranged from 83,182 quad btu's to 86,233.

Doug, what's your source of contrary information?

Or, are you just making this stuff up to make a point?

Posted by: Bruce A on February 26, 2007 10:53 PM
49. Mr. Mathews:

I've read through the whole thread, and find I profoundly disagree with you. Some questions for you (please cite your sources when asserting facts that may seem counter-intuitive to the group):

You've stated repeatedly that you oppose nuclear power, but you don't say why. Please do so.

You also stated: "These alternative power sources are possible (and profitable) only within the context of cheap, nearly limitless supplies of fossil fuels (oil, natural gas, and coal). Given that the fossil fuels are depleting and in danger of running out within a century, these alternative power sources will likely go extinct within that same time frame." Please back up these assertions. Give special consideration to the effect of technological development, which has tended to make most things less expensive over time.

"Those who advocate peace love America." Are there conditions under which you would fight to defend America? Specify. Please avoid commentary on contemporary events -- simply outline conditions under which you would fight for your country, or explain why no such conditions exist.

More questions come to mind, but please respond to these first.

Posted by: Allen McPheeters on February 27, 2007 12:20 AM
50. Hello Bill,

> I don't know what more I can say. You keep making my case for me. The global warming scam is tailor made for your misanthropism. You rip the warm, fuzzy public facade off environmentalism and expose the nihiism that lies at its core.

If you say so ... but I am certain that capitalism/consumerism is much more misanthropic.

> You must look with scorn on those environmental diletantes who don't share your hatred for man. But then again they can be your useful idiots.

I have no hatred for humankind but the entire species is subject to criticism based upon its behavior upon the Earth.

> I'm suprised to see you give us another 100 years of oil and another 100 million in population. This is awfully optimistic for a doom and gloom guy like yourself. I'd thought you'd only give us another 10 years at most. But then have been an a lot of oil discoveries lately. Well you can always threaten us with those dreadful Water World senarios and the horrific two or three degree temperature rise.

Does one hundred years seem like a long time to you? If so, that's unfortunate. Undoubtedly there are a handful people alive today who will remain alive until 2107, so a century really is not so very long.

The world's supply of oil is being burnt away at the rate of 85,000,000 barrels a day. Oil production will continue for another century but the oil production will decline. Two decades from now it is altogether possible that the world will only produce 65,000,0000 barrels of oil a day. That's going to have a serious impact upon the world's economy.

The human population continues to increase. America will almost certainly reach 400 million within forty years, the world's population will likely reach 9 billion within the same time span. This is a catastrophe, plain and simple.

At some point, inevitably, the population is going to stop increasing. What happens to the world economy when the population is in perpetual decline?

Posted by: David Mathews on February 27, 2007 04:22 AM
51. Hello Allen McPheeters,

> You've stated repeatedly that you oppose nuclear power, but you don't say why. Please do so.

Uranium generates horrendous pollution throughout the entire cycle of mining - refining - consumption - disposal.

> You also stated: "These alternative power sources are possible (and profitable) only within the context of cheap, nearly limitless supplies of fossil fuels (oil, natural gas, and coal). Given that the fossil fuels are depleting and in danger of running out within a century, these alternative power sources will likely go extinct within that same time frame." Please back up these assertions. Give special consideration to the effect of technological development, which has tended to make most things less expensive over time.

Fossil fuels are depleting. Of course, fossil fuels are depleting. Humankind is burning these resources away at an ever-increasing rate. Since the Earth is finite all of its resources are likewise finite.

There is only a finite amount of fossil fuels in the ground and we are burning these resources away at a tremendous and ever-increasing rate. At some point, the Earth's supply of fossil fuels will become depleted and humans will have no choice ezcept to live (or die) without oil, natural gas and coal.

Those who deny the reality of depletion ought to consider the analogy: California's gold became depleted, Nevada's silver as well. America's own production of oil reached a peak back in 1971 and has been declining ever since, hence America's ever-increasing reliance upon oil imports.

Technology has served to make plenty of things less expensive, but technology itself only functions because of the existence of cheap, abundant supplies of fossil fuels. In other words: Technology will fail.

> Those who advocate peace love America." Are there conditions under which you would fight to defend America? Specify. Please avoid commentary on contemporary events -- simply outline conditions under which you would fight for your country, or explain why no such conditions exist.

I simply don't believe that violence serves as a solution to any human problem and for that reason I would never fight for America under any circumstances.

Human violence must come to an end.

Posted by: David Mathews on February 27, 2007 04:34 AM
52. To the David Mathews of the world and all who believe that "Man" is a stain on the Earth, I have a solution. We simply ask that you leave the Earth. It doesn't matter how. Radicals like Dave speak a good line, just like Al (An Inconvenient Truth) Gore, but then fly around in their jets adding to the global warming they beseach others to fix. Hypocrosy comes to mind.

Or, if you can't leave the Earth, then please give up your car, your house and your job and return to nature by living with the animals. That way you can BECOME PART OF THE EARTH instead of STAINING it.

Let's see. If every environmentalist returned to nature, wouldn't that in itself be a STAIN on the Earth? I'm not sure the animals would appreciate all those humans romping around in the forests and jungles. Perhaps they should return instead to the deserts. No. Then the scorpions would get mad. Where does it all end?

Hmmmmm!

Posted by: Ron Ewart on February 27, 2007 02:51 PM
53. Hello Ron Ewart,

I see that conservatives enjoy displaying the truly astonishing depth of their own ignorance. Do you have anything else to say?

Posted by: David Mathews on February 27, 2007 03:03 PM
54. "I simply don't believe that violence serves as a solution to any human problem and for that reason I would never fight for America under any circumstances. Human violence must come to an end."

this the widsom of 'D. Mathews' passed to us on the Liberal Tablet of Solutions--let's think a minute--

this guy would have been eaten in a snap by a wooly mammoth beast eons ago. so--how did HIS genes escape? most likely hiding--from everything & only criticizing the defenders. not offering communal solutions. not grabbing a spear in the face of threats. but--i digress.

if he does not want to fight for America, his free choice--BUT--ask again why HE does not move elsewhere? what's the matter? dont like drinking brackish street water for your breakfast tea? do you like your comfy chair here by the fire with a nice cognac?

no human conflict was ever solved by negotiating without an army behind the negotiator. ask the Moors. ask the Huns. ask the navies of Portugal & Spain in the 1500's; ask Hannibal. ask any Pharoh from Egypt.

ask any invading army of (my) peasant Euro ancestors who were pillaged and raped in the fields. (hey-where are MY 'reparations?!') you are not the only victim in history, you self-hating Wienie.

admittedly, you have the freedom to say whatever you want. won by the blood of our past patriots & heroes. i have to accept that, unwillingly.

move out if you dont like it here. live in Senegal. live in Crete. live on the Isle of Man. anywhere other than this place you despise. so--waiting....walk the talk & i'll give you credit.

it's funny how so many liberals STILL bite the hand that gave them money, wealth, opportunity and the freedom to say anything. ignoramus. never seen the bite of a TRULY opressive regime.

Posted by: jimmie-howya-doin on February 27, 2007 05:06 PM
55. Hello Jimmie,

Violence is only a solution for the violent.

Those who love peace must live peacefully.

This is not a difficult or complicated concept. Jesus Himself taught the message long ago, unfortunately it was completely lost to the Christians.

Violence begets violence. An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, and the cycle goes on forever (as it has over the last ten thousand years).

Peace requires a boldness which is altogether lacking among the violence. Only a brave person can advocate people in this bloody world.

America is desperately in need of peacemakers. The Long War must end. So I advocate the end of war.

America has killed enough people already. America has killed too many. These wars must end.

So I am an American and I advocate peace. I advocate people because I love America and would rather not stand by and allow thousands to die unnecessarily in futile, self-defeating wars.

Violence must come to an end, but who is going to teach peace to humankind?

Posted by: David Mathews on February 27, 2007 05:27 PM
56. Dave,

No matter how you you try to spin it 100 years of remaining oil supplies is a long time. And your estimation is on the pessimistic side. Two to three centuries is a more moderate estimate.

The oil supplies will not run out all of a sudden but gradually taper off. Then there are coal supplies for several centuries, hyro and of course nuclear power, both fission and fusion. There must be gigawatts of solar power that fall on the earth each day. The center of the earth is one hellish source of geothermal power. All these sources can produce electric power. As long as man is not shackled by insane rules and regulations there will always be sufficient power.

Stagnation is one of the hallmarks of environmentalism. Nothing must change. When the oil runs out, their mantra goes, we're doomed and because we did not conserve we deserve to be doomed. With an outlook like this is it any wonder that they don't care about any other sources of energy?

The other hallmark of environmentalism is their hatred of man. In order to save the earth, for who knows what, man must go. Man is too successful, too prolific, too intelligent and not humble at all. He does not know his place. He does not cringe at thunder and lightening but seeks to harness their power. He does not shiver in the high mountain snows but uses it for his recreation. He does not run from fire but uses it to build civilization.

Posted by: Bill K. on February 27, 2007 11:29 PM
57. Hello Bill,

> No matter how you you try to spin it 100 years of remaining oil supplies is a long time. And your estimation is on the pessimistic side. Two to three centuries is a more moderate estimate.

You are an extreme optimist, Bill, when you imagine that oil production will continue for three centuries. 300 years might seem a long time to you but within the time frame of human history (10,000 years) it doesn't amount to much.

While oil will still be coming out of the ground a century from now, the rate of oil production will decline tremendously in that time. Instead of 85 million barrels a day, humans will have only 25 million barrels a day to consume.

Needless to say, the global economy which functions at 85 million barrels a day will not function so very well at 25 million barrels a day. When gasoline costs $20 a gallon Americans won't be driving everywhere and shopping all of the time.

> The oil supplies will not run out all of a sudden but gradually taper off. Then there are coal supplies for several centuries, hyro and of course nuclear power, both fission and fusion. There must be gigawatts of solar power that fall on the earth each day. The center of the earth is one hellish source of geothermal power. All these sources can produce electric power. As long as man is not shackled by insane rules and regulations there will always be sufficient power.

Coal is another fossil fuel which will eventually become depleted. Humans are burning coal at a tremendous rate now and the rate of consumption is increasing. The world's supply of coal might very well last another three centuries, but if coal is used as a substitute for oil that time frame shrinks down to only one hundred fifty years.

As to the other power sources: Hydro is built out, nuclear has seen better days, fission is pure science fiction and nothing more, and the renewable sources are beset by the rather large problem of competing with humankind's food supplies (Would you rather eat or drive?).

So it does appear very much like technological civilization will come to an end whether we like it or not.

> Stagnation is one of the hallmarks of environmentalism. Nothing must change. When the oil runs out, their mantra goes, we're doomed and because we did not conserve we deserve to be doomed. With an outlook like this is it any wonder that they don't care about any other sources of energy?

Well, one of the hallmarks of human economic activity is the consumption, destruction & pollution of the entire Earth. Hence this climate change which is melting the ice caps and rising the sea level and threatening to swallow the world's coasts. Such is the price that humankind will pay for civilization.

> The other hallmark of environmentalism is their hatred of man. In order to save the earth, for who knows what, man must go. Man is too successful, too prolific, too intelligent and not humble at all. He does not know his place. He does not cringe at thunder and lightening but seeks to harness their power. He does not shiver in the high mountain snows but uses it for his recreation. He does not run from fire but uses it to build civilization.

Humans are not so very intelligent, nor especially wise. Look at the mess that humankind has made of the Earth. Humans are the weakest, the most violent, the most wasteful, and the most addicted of the animals.

Humankind's hubris is destroying humankind's future. Extinction is a real possibility now. But the great engine of economic activity will not pause even if the consequences include the extermination of human life from the Universe.

Environmentalists love humankind more than the capitalists ever could.


Posted by: David Mathews on February 28, 2007 05:12 AM
58. Hello Everyone,

An Inconvenient Truth is now featured online in its entirety. I encourage everyone to watch the movie -- the entire movie -- and take the message to heart:

An Inconvenient Truth

Enjoy.

Posted by: David Mathews on February 28, 2007 02:13 PM
59. Dave,

So now your time frame for our imminent doom has stretched from 100 years to 250 years. I know, I know, you will say this is just a small fraction of the 10,000 years of human history.

Your predictions are in the same vein and make the same mistakes as similiar predictions by Thomas Malthus and Paul Ehrlich. Malthus predicted famines in the middle of the 19th century that never occured. Ehrlich, who should have known better, made many laughably inept predictions. In his book, The Population Bomb, Ehrlich predicted that in the 1970s the world will undergo famines and hundreds of millions would die. In the United States life expectancy would slide to 42 years by 1980 due to pesticides and the population would crash to 22 million by 1999. Is Ehrlich your model for predictions of our future?

One further story about Ehrlich I cannot pass up was his bet with Julian Simon over the price of metals in 1980. Ehrlich predicted that the price would increase as they became more scarce and Simon bet that the price would decline as they had through history due to improved production. Simon won easily. Several posts ago you made a similiar prediction. I replied that the earth is gigantic ball of minerals waiting to be exploited.

The problem with Malthus, Ehrlich and your predictions is that of taking recent trends and projecting them linearly into the future. Suppose you take your initial prediction of only a 100 years left to us and take your self back to 1907. If you put youself in the mindset of that time could you have predicted air travel as it is today even though the Wright brothers had made their first flights? How about space travel? Nuclear power? Organ transplants? Personal computers and the Internet?

In 1907 a few people might have had some glimmer of an idea of what the future 100 years thence might be like. The Wright brothers could have envisioned what the future of flight might be. But doomsayers are almost invariably wrong because their preconceived social/political notions demand a certain outcome. I take you have socialist, anarchist or even communist sympathies. These dogmas demand that the capitalist United States will eventually fail and your predictions are predicated by this mental straightjacket.

Posted by: Bill K. on March 1, 2007 11:19 PM
60. The left always needs a cause. The right has "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness..." and "and this be our motto: In God We Trust." But the left has no foundational beliefs other than they are the greatest, so they have to manufacture causes to rally the uninformed around them. And it takes quite a bit to manufacture causes, but they have nothing else to do, so it is amazing what they can come up with.

As far as the right able to be green, Doug Roulstone informed many people of a new energy source, the tide. The movement up and down of the water causes no environmental harm and harnesses the endless energy of the tide to power the lifestyle we have come to appreciate.

Another method is to put up solar panals above the atmosphere, that while expensive, is a very powerful source of clean energy. Maybe MoveOn and Algore could put their money where their mouths are.

There are many ways of harnessing clean energy, if we could stop spending energy screaming the sky is falling and actually do something about it, and that would definitely be an improvement over the current news pieces.

Posted by: Deidre on March 3, 2007 03:50 PM
Post a comment
Name:


Email Address:


URL:


Comments:


Remember info?