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View Diary: The U.S. is ground zero for climate change (172 comments)

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  •  "Feed the world." (1+ / 0-)
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    That phrase is the pride of the farm states, states like Nebraska where the Keystone XL fight is centered. We have yet to convince the farmers what's at stake. In Iowa, close to 70% of farmers acknowledge what they can see with their own eyes, that the climate is changing. Only 10%, however, acknowledge that we are changing it. The latter proposition is more difficult to accept. It means putting a cost on carbon emissions is the right solution. Denial is an easy way out, emotionally. We need to shift the conversation. This is happening. There will be costs. Should you the farmer pay? Or should the wealthy oil corporations? Cap and dividend is the right policy in part because it shifts the conversation. When we change the conversation to "who pays?" the emotional valences shift along with it. The farmer needs to hear "You feed the world and we're going to support you with a dividend as we transition from fossil fuels, not slam you with a carbon tax."

    We need to win the debate in the farm states to reach the political tipping point on climate change. We need Democratic candidates who make climate change a priority in those states. In Iowa, I've been sorely disappointed by the cowardice of our candidates. In the last Senate election Conlin refused to call out Grassley's anti-scientific denial. In a House election Vilsack supported Keystone XL and downplayed the climate issue. Both. Lost. Anyway. Our candidates need to stop looking at that 10% number as a reason to ignore the issue and start looking at it as a call for leadership. Because that number isn't going to budge unless we make the case. Stop reacting to polls and start acting to change them.

    Passive renunciation is not the whole of wisdom.

    by play jurist on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 03:32:37 AM PST

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