Recently CNBC showed a portion of an interview they conducted with Republican presidential hopeful Carly Fiorina, in which they asked her the question, “Do you believe human activities are contributing to climate change?”.
The good news is, her reply clearly indicated that she understands humans ARE causing the global crisis…But the sad news is, like most conservatives on this topic, she sarcastically scoffed at the idea of taking the necessary strong measures that scientists say are needed to begin healing the problem for our generations to come.
Her response was that ‘scientists say it will take a GLOBAL effort of ALL nations working together and would cost TRILLIONS of dollars!’ She then added, ‘That isn’t realistic, and that isn’t going to happen.’
Then unbelievably, she told the interviewer that the ANSWER was “innovation”. What?? This is an absurd answer, and it is a typical politically correct “buzzword” banking on the fact that “low information voters” will think she sounds smart and “forward thinking”.
But such an answer is akin to being asked, “With California facing the major crisis of being in the midst one of the worst droughts in history, should the state implement the costly and drastic water conservation measures for businesses that experts recommend?”, and responding: “No, those measures would unfairly impact corporations profits, when what we actually need is INNOVATION.” You can see that such an answer is an attempt to create a facade of sounding smart, when in effect you have said nothing.
We know that such effective innovation alternatives to deal with carbon-caused climate change is HERE NOW, ready to be used and recommended by leading scientists to address global warming. But huge global corporations who line the pockets of political candidates, especially the Republican conservative candidates, do not want to absorb the cost of that innovation…Much like Carly, they ‘sarcastically scoff’ at being responsible to anyone but their stockholders. It isn’t ‘innovative’ in their playbook if it costs them more than a thin dime to implement.
In the context that Ms. Fiorina used the word, one would think that innovation comes from the Tooth Fairy, or some hoped for “carbon eating unicorn” riding down on a white cloud…Yes I’m being a bit sarcastic myself, but not as much as you might think…
A large majority of religious conservatives aggressively believe in the “End Times”, and they always preach that it is coming soon as taught by the man-made writings in the Bible. Like Linus and his security blanket from the Charlie Brown cartoons, they bury their heads in the sand and insist that all the world’s problems will be miraculously solved for them when their “savior” rides down on a white horse on a cloud…
Among other things, they teach that Jesus and his army of angels will then destroy all who don’t believe like them (How do you suppose most Democrats and Liberals will fare?). And of course if there is any truth to a climate and pollution problem, it would then be solved by Jesus on his white horse at that time as well. So no need for us to worry about it. Make no mistake, this is the basic unstable belief of the majority of Christian Conservatives and their elected representatives, because this is expressly taught in the Bible.
Back to the rest of us living in reality…It is insane that Ms. Fiorina would ignore all the present and effective innovation of alternative energy sources and other measures that are ready to be implemented, and then say ‘the answer is innovation’.
Again, the translation is she and her conservative constituents consider innovation as something that would allow corporations not to have to face any responsibility or cost that might impact their profit margins…innovation in their book is technology that would allow them to continue with the status quo or make changes that would make them even more profitable. That is nothing but egregious selfish greed on a level that is inexcusable, because it is profiting NOW at the expense of the future for our youth and generations to come.
Yes, it is a monumental task before us, to create a coordinated global effort…Yes it will be very expensive. But expensive is a relative term…How expensive would it be, compared to waiting until it is too late for the future of our young people? We have danced too long and too late into the night, not to “pay the piper” now, so to speak.
That said, America should be the loudest leading voice crusading for the global effort and setting the right example with a predominant shift to alternative energy and getting off coal. Yet one recent statistic I heard on the news was that Germany is the one that has actually been stepping up the most as a leading global example in this regard.
Apparently Germany has converted an amazing 31% of their country’s energy production to INNOVATIVE alternative energy sources like hydro, solar and wind just to name a few. Check out the story from Bloomberg News:
A huge part of innovation involves not just development of cutting edge new technology, but leading and acting with regard to timely implementation of those technologies once identified…and doing so even when it may be very costly and may not be popular with special interests. More than ever, that is what most Americans are craving from their elected officials, and especially from their President.
Ms. Fiorina referred to the projected cost of trillions of dollars. (Keep in mind this is a cost to be shared globally). Are you aware that cost of the war in Iraq alone has well exceeded a TRILLION dollars? Are you aware that this is also the case with the ongoing war in Afghanistan? It also has well exceeded the cost of a TRILLION dollars.
Are we so irresponsible that we are going to be OK with wasting that amount of money on such unjustifiable military campaigns, and then sarcastically scoff at such an expense that the vast majority of worldwide scientists agree is necessary to begin healing the pollution and damage we are causing to our planet, its oceans and its ecology?
Some might call Carly’s comments stupid. But Ms. Fiorina is not an ignorant woman. She is intelligent enough to at least admit the climate change crisis is being caused by carbon emissions and industrial activity. It would be easier to overlook her comments if they were just based on stupidity.
But what makes them so grossly and irresponsibly inexcusable is that they are based on her being more committed to corporate special interests and their profit motives, than being responsible to average Americans, the planet and future generations. And simply put, that needs to be our litmus test for whatever candidate we support for President in 2016.
(Connie Bryan is an editorial writer living in Sacramento, CA. Check out all of her opeds on her blog at http://www.conniebryan.com)