Thursday, December 29, 2011

GOP 2.0: What rational climate change politics might look like

"With great power comes great responsibility." Gingrich's inner geek smiled at that one. Certainly they had the power. The Democrats had been crushed by the 2012 elections. President Romney now controlled the House, the Senate and the Supreme Court -- and the filibuster had been eliminated in early 2013.

Gingrich was philosophical about the Vice Presidency; Cheney had taught him what could be done. Romney was happy enough to hand off the big one to him.

Not health care of course. That had been a trivial problem; it took only a few months to tweak ObamaCare, throw in some vouchers and a few distractions, and launch RomneyCare. The GOP base was fine with rebranding, and the dispirited remnant of the Democrats saw little real change.

No, the big one was climate change. Romney and Gingrich had never truly doubted that human CO2 emissions were driving global climate change, but pivoting the base took a bit of work. They'd begun with ritual purges; Hansen was quickly exiled to the lecture circuit. Then came the American Commission on Truth in Science. There wasn't even much tormenting of old enemies; the size of the GOP victory had taken the fun out of that. In short order the "weak mindedness" of the Democrats was exposed and the "honest and rigorous" examination of the Romney administration was completed. It was time, Murdoch's empire declared, for strong minded Americans to face hard (but not inconvenient) facts.

The hardest challenge came from a contingent that felt global warming was a good thing, even God's plan. American drought was weakening that group, but they were a constant headache.

Now though it was time for policy, and Gingrich couldn't be happier. He'd been meeting with Bill Clinton of course; the two rogues loved the evening debates. Clinton's engagement wasn't just for fun, despite the GOP's dominance there was still room for politics. America's wealthy had been irrationally terrified of Obama, but they were also afraid of runaway warming -- and they had considerable power. Trillions of dollars were at stake in any real attack on global warming, and every corporation in America was at the door. The Military was pushing for aggressive management. Lastly, Gingrich knew that power can shift. He'd seen it before.

He wrote out the options, and labeled them by their natural political base ...

  • Climate engineering: solar radiation reduction, massive sequestration projects (R)
  • CO2 pricing (by hook or crook) (R/D - political debate is how revenues are used)
  • Subsidies for public transit (D)
  • Urban planning measures (D)
  • Military strategy to manage anticipated collapse of African nations (R)
  • Military strategy to manage anticipated climate engineering conflicts with China (climate wars) (R)
  • Tariff's on Chinese imports to charge China for their CO2 emissions (R/D - but probably tied to American CO2 pricing)
  • Massive investments in solar power and conservation technologies (D)
  • Massive investments in fusion power (R)

The Climate Wars were particularly troublesome. There were simple things China could do, like pump massive amounts of sulfuric acid, that would alleviate the disaster their scientists had predicted. These measures, however, would be disastrous for the US. On the other hand, war with China was unthinkable.

Gingrich new he had to put a price on Carbon and he had to get China to avoid the most dangerous (for the US) forms of climate engineering. The rest was in play. This was what Great Men were made for ...

See also:

Gordon's Notes


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