Listening to Republican gubernatorial candidate Dino Rossi’s answer to a question on where he is on global warming leaves one wondering just where he is. It seems he really is nowhere. He says “There’s still a lot of debate going on on this” and that “there’s going to be a big debate the next 2 to 3 years” and that he “doesn’t think anyone should panic”

Seem’s he hasn’t even talked with John McCain who says “the facts of global warming demand our urgent attention.”

You can see an interesting contrast on McCain and Rossi ‘s take on global warming on a YouTube clip posted by the Washington State Democratic Party.

See it here

Rossi’s position on climate change really hasn’t changed since he was in the Legislature. As Craig Engelhardt, Sierra Club lobbyist noted in the last gubernatorial race:

Rossi voted against efforts to fight global warming: Rossi voted against a bill to create a privately funded Washington climate center that would research simple and innovative ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Washington. The center would have also helped identify what types of impacts climate change could have on Washington and what we can do about it. (SB 5674, 2001)”

David Postman in his blog yesterday has a misleading headline saying “Rossi warms to climate change” but then presents Rossi’s doubletalk saying it’s important to have clean air but his spokesperson says that he would have vetoed one of the bill’s the Legislature passed earlier this year to try to reduce global warming. As Postman reports:

Rossi opposed “this year’s major legislative action on global warming. House Bill 2815 set up goals for carbon reduction, but does not fund those efforts. Gregoire signed the bill and has called it a major accomplishment.

Rossi, according to spokeswoman Jill Strait, would not have signed the bill. Strait said Rossi believes “we should focus on rewarding people, not punishing them.”

“The bill she just signed aims to use the power of the government to force people to cut vehicle miles traveled down to the level of 1980 in just ten years, and that is only the first step. Dino’s vision is based on personal freedom and engaging Washington’s creative economy. His plan provides incentives for people to use new, clean technology. “

The only problem is we’ve seen the free market approach that Rossi proposes. It does not respond to issues like global warming unless there is a personal cost attached to it. The cost of global warming is being passed on to the commons. The oil industry and coal industry and auto industry are extracting profits from their business interests but do not currently pay for the true costs of their industries. Besides pollution itself and dirty air affecting health we now have increased global warming which will affect everyone but which the producers who profit from their sales of coal and oil pay very little or nothing to mittigate.

The industries are operately in a profit motivated system that is passing the cost of their pollution onto the commons. The costs for pollution cleanup and global warming consequences are not being borne by industry but by the general public. The profit motivated free market system obviously does not adequately addreess the true costs to society of global warming and pollution.

This is where it is necessary for government to step in and change the rules because the consequencces are no longer just local or insignificant. A tax on carbon is one way to add the costs into the equation to address the true system costs of burning fossil fuels for energy. Investing this money in alternative renewable non-carbon energy systems is one way to correct the injustices and flaws in a free market system that puts individual profit above the common good.

It is obvious that Dino Rossi is not going to change the system to address global warming. The free market system has failed but Rossi continues to support the myth that individual consumers freely making choices will somehow do the right thing.

The free market system gave Americans SUV’s and minivans to the exclusion of small cars and public transit. The free market mantra gave corporations the incentive to make mistakes as they attempted to maximize profits making large cars. They were wrong and now people are buying Honda and Toyota hybrids and companies like Ford are money losers.

We’ve had 8 years of Bush denying global warming on the national level and it would be a big mistake to put someone in as Governor who really doesn’t see the problem and seems to be willing to say what he thinks the public wants to hear in a last minute election year conversion. The best gauge of what Rossi will do is to look at what he has or hasn’t done regarding global warming to date. The record suggests that it would be a mistake to think he’s going to do anything. Election year conversions are just another slick ad campaign gimmick.

One Response to Just Where is Rossi on Global Warming?

  1. LE says:

    Dear Obama Superdelegates,

    I want to ask you how you can continue to support Senator Obama after this latest disgraceful episode where his campaign maliciously and intentionally disseminated a vicious lie regarding Hillary’s comment about RFK in order to impugn her. Why did he feel he had the right to malign her like this, and why do you remain silent?

    The comment Hillary made about RFK is in no way offensive; it must be taken out of context and intentionally misinterpreted to give it a meaning other than as a time marker, which is how Hillary Clinton used it. All Hillary said was that nomination fights historically have extended through the summer and have gone to the convention in August, and she gave a date that has historical significance: June when RFK was still campaigning. Her emphasis was on the word June, if you watch the Argus Leader video, it is clear:
    Hillary Clinton Coverage. Hillary’s larger point was to ask why, if history is a guide, she has been asked to drop out of the race when other Presidential contenders like Bill Clinton, Ted Kennedy, FDR, Woodrow Wilson, etc. have taken their fight to the convention?

    I do not accept that Obama should not be held personally responsible for this slander against Hillary Clinton, if you hold President Bush responsible for the war in Iraq, though Bush never fired a shot. Obama has repeatedly shown a mean streak and a horrible lack of judgement that is unacceptable for a Presidential contender.

    From small slights (not shaking her hand on the Senate floor, giving her the finger at a rally, members of his campaign calling her a monster) to outright slander (RFK, Dr King/Johnson remarks), Obama is not someone I can respect or would want to have the responsibility of steering our great nation.

    For the Obama campaign to e-mail the national press corps and insinuate that Hillary’s statement was sinister is a new low.

    Obama has repeatedly behaved in an unprincipled manner:

    * He worked to disallow a new election in Florida and Michigan
    “The Obama people are blocking it in the Legislature”

    * He refused to debate Hillary
    “At Home in Midwest, Obama Explains Why He Refused Debate Challenge”

    * He did not stand up against Wright for 20 years while Wright used the pulpit to spread hateful lies against the United States and its people, including blaming the U.S. for creating the AIDS virus in order to commit genocide.
    “An Angry Obama Renounces Ties to His Ex-Pastor”

    * He insults the Democratic process by working to disallow the delegates from Florida from counting, calling it a “name recognition” exercise, when it was in fact a fair election where he broke the pledge to not campaign there by buying national cable advertisements.
    Obama’s new ad is a “clear and blatant violation”

    “Obama suggests halving Florida delegation”

    * He accepted money and land from a corrupt influence peddler like Tony Rezko, turning his back on the residents of Chicago’s South Side who needed the affordable housing that Rezko was supposed to provide after receiving one hundred million dollars to do so. Even now eleven buildings in Obama’s district are still boarded-up and unlivable.
    “Obama ducks the questions: Suddenly, our open senator is acting like a dissembling pol”

    “An Obama Patron and Friend Until an Indictment”

    * He accepted money from the Nuclear Power industry and is an advocate for it, after being bought off, even though we have no solution for the disposal of nuclear waste.
    “Nuclear Leaks and Response Tested Obama in Senate”

    If you continue to support Obama, after these displays of corruption, of malice, and poor judgement, and after the disgraceful way he has behaved toward Hillary, then you will make it impossible for me to continue in the Democratic Party. Your judgement and your leadership would be as suspect as Obama’s.

    Furthermore, by continuing to support Obama you send the signal that you condone a society where no one in a leadership position stands up for an innocent person like Hillary Clinton while she is slandered in the media by a member of her same political party. If you agree that Hillary should not have mentioned a historical fact, RFK’s death, because Ted Kennedy was recently diagnosed with cancer, making Hillary uncaring, then I find your reasoning to be gravely lacking. RFK is public domain, his legacy belongs to us all: Americans and the world. Hillary was not chanting about his death at a rally, she was not gleeful about it, she was using it as a historical reference during an interview with the editors of the Argus Leader newspaper.

    In addition, if you think that the word “assassination” should be taboo and no one, especially Hillary, should dare mention it during a Presidential race, then I can only say that superstition has no place in rational thought; the word “assassination” does not have magical powers. To suggest that mentioning the word “assassination” might “give people ideas” belies the reality that having the secret service detail all around the Presidential contenders is a much stronger suggestion to people than making a historical reference in an editorial boardroom meeting would.

    What all of these attacks on Hillary’s innocent comment have in common, besides the fact that they are an attempt to silence her, and that they are irrational and mean-spirited, is that the society that her attackers want us to accept, and you if you are complicit and do not stand up for her, is completely frightening. I do not think it is just to silence a person. I believe in freedom of speech. I also do not want to live in a society where historical facts are taboo and cannot be uttered because of superstition or “the spreading of ideas”—that is a Police State, it is not Liberty, it is not America. If Obama supporters want this kind of society, I will have to fight against it: I will become a Republican.

    Hillary Clinton has been working on solutions that will help our country return to greatness for nearly two decades. She is what would be best for our nation. Hillary Clinton is qualified, dedicated, knowledgeable and caring. To overlook her accomplishments and her experience for an upstart with the thinnest of resumes is a slap in the face on a core value of America, that we are a meritocracy. To dismiss her for a corrupt and malicious man like Obama, who would slander her and accuse her of murderous intent, is beyond contemptible.

    History will judge you unworthy of your leadership position if you do not stand up for the innocent, if you do not condemn Obama and his campaign for this most brutal assault on a true American patriot like Hillary Clinton.

    “In Germany, they came first for the Communists, And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Communist;
    And then they came for the trade unionists, And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist;
    And then they came for the Jews, And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew;
    And then . . . they came for me . . . And by that time there was no one left to speak up.”

    —Pastor Martin Niemöller

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