Mr 1%

While SeaMonster isn’t overtly political, given the role of politics in environmental decision making, it woud be foolish as advocates for the ocean not to share a few thoughts on politicians now and then.  We are starting a series evaluating candidates on their record, statements, promises and potential good and harm towards ocean stuff we care about.

Thanks to the conservative war on science and embrace of reactionary anti-environmentalism, it will be tough to not appear simply partisan.  But we are far from enamored with the environmental record of Mr Obama and several other democrats, so they will not exactly be getting a free ride.

We are especially interested in trying to figure out what Mr 1% – AKA Mitt Romney – stands for in terms of environmental protection.  The WSJ has criticized his embrace of cap-n-trade, always a good sign from a green perspective.  But the positions they criticize are largely from when he was “moderate New Englander Mitt” and was relatively supportive of enviro protection via federal regulations and state and federal support of market solutions.  He wants to drill in ANWAR, but according to Forbes:

“he has been bullish on investing in green technology. When he last ran for president, Romney not only said he supported the $4 billion the U.S. invested in green energy, he said we should increase that five-fold. “I think over the coming years we need to increase our investment to become energy-independent from about $4 billion a year to about $20 billion a year,” he said. “Obviously, that has got to grow gradually because there are not a lot of places now that do the kind of research we need to do to get ourselves energy-independent.””

I cannot find anything about Mitt’s positions on other ocean issues like fishing, plastics, and the role of marine reserves.

Skeptical Science has been collecting various “misstatements” about climate change science by politicians here and has caught Mitt in a few whoppers:

Quotes by Mitt Romney vs What the Science Says
“I exhale carbon dioxide. I don’t want those guys following me around with a meter to see if I’m breathing too hard” 19 November 2011 (Source) By breathing out, we are simply returning to the air the same CO2 that was there to begin with.
“My view is that we don’t know what’s causing climate change on this planet.” 28 October 2011 (Source) Multiple sets of independent observations find a human fingerprint on climate change.
“Do I think the world’s getting hotter? Yeah, I don’t know that but I think that it is. I don’t know if it’s mostly caused by humans. What I’m not willing to do is spend trillions of dollars on something I don’t know the answer to.” 25 August 2011 (Source) The benefits of a price on carbon outweigh the costs several times over.
“Do I think the world’s getting hotter? Yeah, I don’t know that but I think that it is. I don’t know if it’s mostly caused by humans.” 25 August 2011 (Source) Multiple sets of independent observations find a human fingerprint on climate change.

Although, as on so many other issues, Mr 1% believed in climate change until it became politically expedient for him not too:

[vimeo]http://vimeo.com/34051601[/vimeo]

Stay tuned.

Leave a Reply