Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Think Progress and Out-of-Touch 'Persuasion'

There's no doubt that shifting political opinion toward effective climate action is going to take a lot of persuasion, especially of individuals and policymakers who don't already believe in the urgent need to drastically limit greenhouse gas emissions, or at least tend to rate the environment high on their list of concerns. 

But advocates trapped in the mental boxes of green-group group-think -- and that includes the dear former California governator, Republican though he may be -- are unlikely to change the minds of those in the most need of persuasion by approaching the issue as touted in this recent piece, "Did The Governator Just Come Up With A Republican-Proof Argument On Climate Change?" on Think Progress. 

The question that Mr. Schwarzenegger posed on Facebook was along the lines of "What room with a sealed door would you be rather trapped in, one with a gasoline car running at full throttle or one with an electric car running flat out?" (on treadmills, we presume).

Source: via
Well, duh! The electric car, of course. The trendy kick-the-can-down-the-road, throw-the-problem-over-the-wall and hope-for-the-best in speedy power sector carbon control and battery breakthroughs.

It's been 25 years now -- a full quarter century -- since California passed its zero-emission-vehicle (ZEV) mandate. That green gospel solution has been dutifully re-ratified by successive California administrations Demublican and Republocrat alike, even as they repeatedly torqued it into the Byzantine policy muddle that it is today. Think regulatory alphabet soup, like "partial zero emission vehicle" (PZEV) and the convoluted crediting schemes that keep Tesla semi-solvent. 

I'm sorry, but the governator's argument is not likely to be persuasive to many if not most of those in the established businesses and other not-so-deep-green communities who are beginning to look for climate solutions that they would find to be sensible and plausibly affordable. Heck, such lines of reasoning don't even persuade me, someone who's been working on solutions to the climate problem for over 25 years myself. 

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