GWSA: Political Suicide Mission

For a while now, we have been reporting and commenting on how utterly unrealistic, economically irrational, logistically impossible, and downright nutty the policy prescriptions being kicked around by the Vermont Climate Council are. Turns out members of the Council and its subcommittees aren’t totally oblivious to this fact either. They are fully aware that they are setting up the elected legislators who ultimately support their recommendations for a political suicide mission.

Ben Rose, a former two-term legislator from the late 1990s, serving on the Rural Resilience and Adaptation Subcommittee, put it bluntly, “There are moments when there are things worth losing one’s seat over…. If what we come up with as our highest one or two priorities are things that legislators are told this is worth losing your seat over, that’s the most powerful work the Council can do.” (Around the 49:00:00 mark

One wonders if the folks facing the voters in November 2022 are as enthusiastic about taking their proverbial shot of sake, shouting banzai, and flying off into political self-immolation to… NOT SAVE THE PLANET.  

Kia Morris, another former legislator no longer facing the voters, cheerily explained, “They [legislators] are going to get some nasty-grams from their constituency. And it will have much less to do with how many points did you bring down emissions, and a heck of a lot more with ‘what happened to these jobs?’”

So, yes, you got that right, elected Representatives and Senators will be asked to vote for policies that will directly and indirectly destroy tens of thousands of their constituents’ jobs in order to… NOT SAVE THE PLANET.

At the September 22 meeting of the Agriculture and Ecosystems Subcommittee meeting, John Roberts defined the Council’s priorities: "[We need to] really focus on what is good for the climate. It may not be good for the ecosystem, but what is good for the climate” [emphasis added] (around the 1:47:00 mark). This highlights an important distinction: the kind of renewable energy expansion the Council is advocating for – lots of industrial wind and solar – is highly damaging to Vermont’s ecosystems. It destroys ridgelines, covers open pastureland, creates water quality problems, wrecks animal habitats, etc. Preserving these things is the environmentalism most Vermonters ascribe to. The Climate Council isn’t concerned with damaging our ecosystems so long as they lower greenhouse gas emissions to a level that will… NOT SAVE THE PLANET.

So, this is the question legislators will face in January: Do I want to commit political suicide by voting to destroy Vermonters’ jobs, strangle our economy and quality of life with outrageous taxes and regulations, damage the natural beauty and health of our ecosystems in order support a list of impossible goals (42,000 electric vehicles on the roads in 3 years is not going to happen) that, even if implemented will… NOT SAVE THE PLANET!

In fact, to say that the measures recommended by the Vermont Climate Council will not save the planet is too generous. As members of the Council and Vermont legislators will admit when pressed, Vermont could eliminate all of its greenhouse gas emissions tomorrow and it would have NO IMPACT WHATSOEVER on future climate trends or weather events. All of this pain and disruption will be for nothing. Mr. Rose is absolutely correct. Any legislator who votes for this scheme absolutely deserves to lose their seat.

- Rob Roper is president of the Ethan Allen Institute


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  • Joel Mumford
    commented 2021-10-09 14:18:50 -0400
    So we should destroy our ecosystem because it will be good for the climate, but we won’t actually effect the climate at all…does any sentient Vermonter subscribe to that anti-human, self-destructive nonsense? I doubt very few would once the ramifications became evident. This is what the eco-loons have come to: a complete absence of logic and rationality in pursuit of the idea that humans can have a significant impact on the climate, that they know what the correct climate values are, and that they should radically alter our way of life to achieve their goals.

    I am no climate denier as they term it: climate is changing now, always has been changing, always will be changing. Yes, humans have an influence on the climate but it is not any apocalyptic influence. How do I know that: I follow the science.

    I recommend people read the newly released book “Unsettled: what climate science tells us, what it doesn’t, and why it matters”. Authored by Cal Tech educated theoretical physicist Steven Koonin, an eminent scientist, a member of the US National Academy of Sciences, and a host of other governmental and scientific panels. He has authored more than 200 peer-reviewed papers in the fields of physics and astrophysics, scientific computation, energy technology and policy, and climate science.

    One of Prof. Koonin’s main thesis is that while much of the science contained in the thousands of pages of scientific reports are high quality science, what is reported in the Summaries for Policymakers is a gross misrepresentation of the actual science. The Summary authors are not obligated to present a balanced view of all the scientific reports and the authors are purposely chosen to present an alarmist view of the science. Since one has to have a strong science background to read these thousands of pages of scientific reports, almost no one does. Certainly not politicians, policymakers, the climate advocacy groups, the mainstream media —-all the groups most stridently parroting the same hysterical group-speak as the VCC here in VT.

    I urge people to become better informed, more vocal, less accepting of the current consensus promulgated by climate doomsayers. As Bjorn Lomborg says on the book’s jacket: “Unsettled will definitely and rightly unsettle your climate thoughts, and all for the better.”.
  • Stephen Thurston
    commented 2021-10-05 17:51:14 -0400
    Perhaps the legislators who are willing to lose their seats are counting on finding jobs in the renewable industry, or creating businesses to take advantage of the mandates and subsidies they have instituted via the Climate Council, much like John McLaughry outlined in his recent piece here.
  • Rob Roper
    published this page in EAI Blog 2021-10-05 11:14:05 -0400