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Election: It's About The Economy, Stupid (Not Climate Change)


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View Liz Judge's blog posts
03 November 2010, 3:04 PM
Americans want jobs AND clean energy, clean air, clean water, green economy

There's been so much talk about the dirty words of "cap 'n trade" the last few weeks that one could really start to believe the spin. That is, the argument put forward by a few candidates and pundits, and some misguided reporters even (see this incorrect Politico report, which was refuted by this sensible TIME report), is that votes for the climate bill cost some House members their seats.
 

First of all, Americans cast their votes on the economy, jobs and government spending. Climate change, while a spicy talking point for some, was not on most voters' priority lists, according to a milieu of exit polls and surveys.

One survey found that when voters who chose the Republican candidate were asked in an open-ended question to name their biggest concern about the Democrat, only 1 percent cited something related to energy or cap and trade.
 

Bottom line: People who wanted change in '08 were upset that that change didn't come fast enough, or that the economy is still in rough shape.

Second, let's take a look at some numbers (hat tip to friends at NRDC who pulled these together quickly), which clearly show that not only was climate not the losing issue of the midterm elections, it was in some cases a winner:
 

  • Of Democrats who voted for the House climate bill (ACES) who were up for re-election, 162 out of 195 have won or are winning. That's 83.1 percent success rate for YESes on the climate bill.
  • Of Democrats who voted against ACES who are up for re-election, 21 out of 36 have lost or are losing. That is to say that nearly 60 percent of those who voted NO on the climate bill have been fired by the public.

And still, some more compelling stats:

  • California weighed in big-time in favor of clean energy and climate change initiatives by defeating Prop 23 and electing Jerry Brown for governor and re-electing Barbara Boxer.
  • Gov. Patrick was re-elected in Massachusetts and he sees the clean energy message as one of the key factors in the campaign.
  • Green-economy proponent Peter Shumlin was elected Governor of Vermont.
  • Lincoln Chafee, who had a strong record of Senate votes on clean energy initiatives, was elected governor of Rhode Island.
  • Dan Malloy was elected governor of Connecticut. His position on climate change action is strong and public.
  • And climate action proponent John Lynch was re-elected governor of New Hampshire.

Finally, it's also important to revisit the attitudes of the American public in terms of action on climate change and clean energy initiatives.

An August poll by the Natural Resources Defense Council found that:

  • A majority of U.S. voters say the government should regulate greenhouse gases linked to global warming and that the Environmental Protection Agency is up to the job.
  • When asked whether "the government should regulate greenhouse gases from sources like power plants and refineries in an effort to reduce global warming," 60 percent support it.
  • 54 percent [of voters] say they are confident in the EPA when it comes to regulation greenhouse gases.
  • When asked about a bill "would suspend the EPA's power to regulate greenhouse gases for two years," 53 percent oppose it.

A poll last week by the Civil Society Institute found that:

  • More than half of Americans (68 percent) see the U.S. as weak or very weak on "practical, problem-solving solutions" and leadership in relation to "energy independence and dealing with climate change or global warming." This view is fairly consistent among Republicans, Democrats, Independents and Tea Party supporters.
  • The same poll found that 72 percent of all respondents, including 58 percent of Republicans, 82 percent of Democrats and 75 percent of Independents, agree with the following statement: "Smarter energy choices are the key to creating new jobs and a future that is healthy and safe because fossil fuels mean toxic wastes that are a threat to our health and safety."

If there's one thing that's clear after the last two days, it's that Americans care about the economy and jobs, but they don't want to sacrifice their health or clean air for it.

 

If the far left of the Democratic party really believes this kind of silly crap then we are doomed to be the minority party forever. Ask Rick Boucher if cap and trade had an impact on his race. His former chief of staff said that if he had voted no he wouldn't have had an opponent. That statement is confirmed by the winner, Morgan Griffith, who said that Boucher's cap and trade vote got him into the race. Dozens of others members who lost will tell you the same.

By the way, those polls Liz sites are worthless. People consistently say that they want to do something about GHG as long as that action is free. If it costs even $5 a month the support drops dramatically. If people know the thousands it will really cost support disappears.

In addition, climate change consistently ranks as 20 out of 20 issues surveyed. In other words, no one cares except a hand full of environmental radicals who have the power to destroy the Democratic party, but not the power to enact their agenda. If you can only support the most radical policy alternatives available then join Liz and stay the course. It will ensure that the Republicans will set all environmental policy.

If the far left of the Democratic party really believes this silly crap then we are doomed to be the minority party forever. Ask soon to be fformer Congressman Rick Boucher if cap and trade had an impact on his race. His former chief of staff said that if he had voted no he wouldn't have even had an opponent. That statement is confirmed by the winner, Morgan Griffith, who said that Boucher's cap and trade vote got him into the race. Dozens of others members who lost will tell you the same.

By the way, those polls Liz sites are worthless. People consistently say that they want to do "something" about GHG as long as that "something" is free. If it costs even $5 a month the support drops dramatically. If people know the thousands it will really cost support disappears.

In addition, climate change consistently ranks as dead last among issues surveyed. In other words, no one cares except a hand full of environmental radicals who have the power to destroy the Democratic party, but do not have the power to enact their agenda. If you can only support the most radical policy alternatives available then join Liz and stay the course. It will ensure that the Republicans will set all environmental policy.

I am just amazed that some still don't get it. After an obvious rejection of current policies one really doesn't need to dig too deep into the interpretation.

The simple fact is this election succeeded because of promises to downsize government INCLUDING the corrupt and fraudulent EPA. The environmentalists are as much in denial about this election as Pelosi's claims she'll keep the House.

Ethanol has been proven over and over again to be a heavier pollutant then gasoline yet this country subsidizes it and encourages its use.
CFL are so dangerous and harmful to the environment they cannot be disposed of in a normal manner yet will be mandated because of their benefits...it is these backwards strides this government has taken in the face of their voters that has caused such a severe backlash.

If there was such a market for renewable energy it would not need propped up with tax incentives and grants funded by taxpayers reluctant to buy into such fraud in the first place....and many many more invasive proposals that are the end result of baseless fear mongering from the left that can only be verified by...you guessed it...the left.
When inquiries are made to review the data they are stonewalled with laws and claims that have no place in a free society. Science 101 has taught us the science is never settled.

The moral of the story is this election was about SMALLER GOVERNMENT and LESS INVASIVE GOVERNMENT which contradicts the goals of the green movement. The new electorate supports and will continue to push for the dismantling of any government agency that is powered by political agendas versus sound logic.

We Americans will choose freedom over mandates any day thus the green movement is dead and rightfully so.

I never cease to be amazed by the hateful vitriol of the right. Yes...smaller government, just small enough to fit into folks bedrooms and dictate morals, small enough to service the 20% of the population that is taking $80 of every $100 dollars generated by this economy.

The reason renewable energy needs support is NOT because people don't want it, it is because start up costs are expensive, and, (thanks in no small way to the disastrous economic policies of the Bush administration), the middle class can no longer afford ANY extra costs. Bush set the all-time record for biggest annual budget spending increases, more than any other president in US history.

What is most galling of all, well, besides the hatred and contempt you apparently feel for anyone who doesn't agree with your politics ... the politics that got us into this situation in the first place, is your contention that you speak for "WE AMERICANS". Guess what. I am as American as you, and you don't speak for me, or for millions of other concerned, dedicated Americans and environmentalists.

The right wing might even finish choking the life out of the rest of us and the planet...you have after all, managed to corral most of the money, Florida was sold to a criminal for $73 million dollars. But, know this. We will fight on. The middle class is NOT going to die without a struggle, despite the efforts of the right. Even if you were to succeed, which I doubt, then where would the right be? Without the middle class to feed off of, it would need to cannabilize itself or atrophy and die. We are going to continue to try to protect the earth from idiotic, greedy political actions, because we must.

Yes many hateful events from the right but not only hateful but illogical. Their hindering of stem cell research alone has cost us new discoveries and advancements in medicine. Their inability to separate their religious beliefs from our political system will cost them votes. It is very scary to think this ideology is in control of nuclear weapons abroad with the end goal being their version of Harmaged?n. All of that plus their views on abortion and bedroom intimacy is what keep me distanced from that group.

See Karen you assumed I am a right winger because I am anti-green. It is your misguided perceptions that has harmed your movement. It is those assumptions that has changed the view on global warming from scientific research to hateful one sided arguments from the left. Do you remember this from August "James Cameron, director of the eco-tinged smash film Avatar, on Sunday called global warming skeptics “swine” at a renewable energy conference in Aspen, Colo"? Probably not since you think hate comes only from the right. Al Gore and the others have no shortage of insults either so your spin claiming the right wing is full of hate is as accurate as Nancy Pelosi claiming the health care town hall discussions were a "non-event".

You mention the middle class and the economy yet have the audacity to support the most invasive and costly regulation in the history of America. You post as response, once again just assuming, I am the upper half. Have you seen much of reality? Have you been to the inner cities and rural areas and seen struggling families? Guess what, the last thing they need or want is a failing government body telling them these are the things they are allowed to buy, these are lights they must use, these are the menus they can order from, etc, etc, etc. I dare you to walk up to these people and brag about CFL mandates then do a dance around them telling them the amount they are taxed to fund green technology. Karen did you know in Wyoming if you add too many wind turbines to your property you are heavily taxed? Probably not...just that right winger fear..right?

You are correct though. I don't speak for you. I speak for the millions of working Americans that voted to reject the most arrogant, divisive, and invasive administration in the history of American politics. You side with Obama and his green agenda, he has made it clear that I and the millions like me are his enemy and so it shall be.

If I were you Karen I would stop inciting class warfare because it didn't do you any favors Tuesday night and 2012 is just around the corner and we'll all have fluorescent lighting to remind us who made it happen.

There are real environmental problems out there needing real people solutions but excessive legislation like that of the EPA will continue to push people to reject the issue entirely. If you ever feel the need to actually get involved with the environment instead of just spewing partisan hatred online feel free to join any of the many local groups that I would bet are in your area. The group I belong to sets up monitoring equipment here in the Pacific Northwest. Because your government can no longer be trusted we will begin monitoring mercury levels in the city runoff starting 2013. Think about it.....each time a green legislation is passed it creates an even bigger backlash harming the original intent.

BTW- Did you see the footage on Cameron's estate? No solar, no wind, even has an H1 with a bunch of dirty 2-stroke dirt bikes, even I have solar panels but without the green arrogance.

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