Monday, September 13, 2010

What George Said

Last Friday I posted on the amazing role former Reagan Secretary of State George P. Schultz's role in the movement to defeat Prop 23, the ballot initiative which would delay the implementation of California's Clean Energy law. My thoughts were that if this original Reagan Republican could see the dangers of climate change caused by carbon-based energy sources, then the tide might be turning.

Yesterday, the Sacramento Bee published an opinion piece written by Mr. Schultz in which he passionately details just why Prop 23 must be defeated, and he does so from a specifically Republican stance.

California's vision of a cleaner environment and reduced dependence on foreign oil and dirty fuels is now under attack. Make no mistake: Proposition 23 seeks to derail our future through a process of indefinite postponement of our state's clean energy and clean air standards. A future for California based on clean-power technologies is both an economic and environmental necessity.

It's about preserving clean air for our kids and fostering good jobs for our workers. It's about a California that leads the world in the next great global industry and in facing the next great global challenge. The effort to derail it would be a tragic mistake. ...

In the United States, we face three major energy issues. Our economy is disrupted by periodically spiking oil prices. Our national security is threatened by dependence on uncertain sources of oil and by the flow of funds to oil-providing countries that do not wish us well. Indirectly, potential terrorist groups are also funded and strengthened. Our climate is threatened by the destructive impact of global warming caused by the accumulation of CO2 from the burning of fossil fuels. These ongoing problems are real, important and potentially severe. ...
[Emphasis added]

While I admit to being amused at the ranking of the issues as specifically Republican, the man is right. And he cheerfully quotes other Republicans who also warned of the dangers of global warming, although I suspect one of those Republicans, Sen. John McCain, has backed off the issue during his election campaign. Mr. Schultz also reminds us that Ronald Reagan himself recognized the problem and pushed through the Montreal Protocol while president, even if he did remove the solar panels from the White House.

Mr. Schultz in effect argues that this is not a partisan issue, nor should it be. Climate change affects everyone, and it does affect our nation's health at all levels. California may be just one state among 50, but it has long led the nation in innovative solutions to national problems, often pushing the federal government to move on key issues such as clean air and fuel efficiency which corporate nay-sayers have ultimately followed through on when pressed.

Mr. Schultz may have gotten things wrong when serving in the Reagan White House; he certainly is not wrong this time.

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Anonymous Jamie said...

well it's good to see a reaganite acknowledging the truth of the problem

1:22 PM  

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