Beware The Environmental Wedgie

wedgie1.JPGWith this headline, we're not thinking so much of the literal "wedgie," as when someone pulls your knickers up. It's more the metaphorical "wedgie" that we're thinking on, and how the concern trolls and Think Tanks will go to work, following this week's "G8" meeting, where climate change will be seriously discussed. The typical post-meeting tactics will be easy to deal with: calling "environmentalists" hypocrites because their climate role model has a higher-than-average carbon footprint (a.k.a. the Gore attack); or, claiming a regional effort to save endangered Pacific salmon by taking down hydroelectric dams proves that all environmentalists are short sighted on climate; or, a coal state US legislator proposing to limit the spread of wind farms 'to protect the birds and bats.' The tactics will only expand as industries choose sides and election campaign strategies are firmed up . These, too, shall pass. However, some very long-lasting new and powerful climate wedgies are about to get pulled. We'd love to hear your ideas on how anyone might best respond, tactically, strategically, and emotionally, to them.Note: order does not denote significance. A particularly devious political talking point might able to thread two, or even all four of these, together. Here are the big green wedgie challenges.

It is philosophically wrong minded to propose to manage climate aggressively. It's too dangerous and arrogant. Embodied for some years by those who oppose all "planetary engineering" on principle, a new expression of this view recently came from the US NASA Administrator during an NPR interview. Now it seems, anything except the most meager action plan can be extrapolated to the same "extreme."

Environmentalists want to send more US jobs to China. Roughly, the logic goes like this: make coal more expensive here via taxes, mandatory pollution controls, or cap and trade systems, coal will be cheaper in China, so US businesses will move there, making the climate worse and taking more US jobs.

Environmentalists want to follow the EU's "socialist" approach of mandating cut backs and manipulating the markets. Europe is pushing for the central planning approach or what the US likes to call "command and control" regulatory systems to drive emission reductions. As soon as a high profile US environmental organization or presidential candidate aligns with that approach, McCarthy-style mud slinging will ensue.

City based environmentalists want to take away your trucks and your guns. It's well understood that the US green demographic is centered around city dwelling, college educated, young people. As soon as a presidential candidate who supports a CAFE standards upgrade comes out in favor of gun control, an unbelievable ruckus will ensue.

Image credit:: anonymous at Drexel University

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