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With over 1000 diaries published, truly few caused me anguish as to whether they merited writing or should I publish on the subject.  This is one of those few.

Last month, Daily Kos' front page boldly proclaimed Orange-to-Blue: Our new questionaire.  These seven questions, while "not a litmus test", set a clear standard for judging whether 'this community' should or shouldn't put it resources to bear in support of a political candidate.

Notably -- and far from just to me -- these seven questions gave no hint of priority to energy, environmental, or climate disruption issues.

When challenged, from outside this community, Markos' reaction:

How many good Dems don't believe in climate change? RT @drgrist: Daily Kos's new questionnaire for candidates doesn't have a single Q about climate or energy

Markos' flippant response misses the issue ... entirely.  

First, this is not a question of "belief".  

Second, there are Democratic politicians who would score well on the Orange-to-Blue test and who 'believe in climate change' but who are obstacles to meaningful action to mitigate climate disruption.

Third, among others, President Obama has commented that he needs others to create the political space for action to address climate disruption.  Putting aside the question of whether this is a legitimate response, a simple question:

How is the political mandate for action fostered if contributors and activists don't make this part of the political calculus?

Action to mitigate climate change must be the single top agenda item for our political system if we are to have any hope to navigate the Perfect Storm (Peak Oil, Peak Water, Economic Disparity, Economic Downtown, Financial Stresses, Global Warming, etc ...) that we have created.

I -- hopefully not for one -- will not contribute an Orange cent to a political candidate, at any level or for any office, that does not provide a path to emphasize the importance of Energy Smart decision-making and policy.

As RL Miller put it the day the questionnaire went out, Revise your f*cking questionnaire, Kos!

"A handful of questions on issues of key importance to the progressive movement" omits any mention of climate, the single greatest issue for this and the next few generations. ... we already know that environmentalists don't matter to the Obama administration, but we do expect progressive candidates to have views on climate, energy, and environment. And a progressive institute of the stature of DailyKos needs to ask them.

Again, Markos responded:

How many good Dems don't believe in climate change?

Again, it is absurd -- even in a tweet -- to talk about "believe" ... As Dr Vicky Pope, the head of climate change advice at the Met Office Hadley Centre, put it:

When climate scientists like me explain to people what we do for a living we are increasingly asked whether we “believe in climate change”. Quite simply it is not a matter of belief. Our concerns about climate change arise from the scientific evidence that humanity’s activities are leading to changes in our climate. The scientific evidence is overwhelming.

In addition, it is absurd (should we say 'ignorant') to treat and view climate change as some sort of isolated issue.  As articulated years ago, Peak Oil and Climate Change must be the TOP PROGRESSIVE ISSUES because failures to address them will doom progressive policies ... forever.  And, well, addressing climate change and pursuing clean energy (with Energy Smart policies) is THE BEST PATH to seize opportunity and make progress. (See, for example, JOBS! JOBS! JOBS! for how Energy Smart policies and programs could put America(ns) back to work while setting the stage for a prosperous, climate-friendly future.)

And, well, Daily Kos frontpager Laurence Lewis put it simply: Climate change is the most important issue humanity has ever faced.

Yet, again, Markos doesn't see reason for including this in criteria for political contributions because 'good Dems believe in climate change ...'

Lowkell's response to Markos captured the issue:

@markos @drgrist The issue is how many Dems will fight for a price on carbon, for strong clean energy legislation, etc.

There are members of Congress and Democratic Party leaders -- such as Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) -- who would pass through the Orange-to-Blue questionnaire with (close to) flying colors who (even if they "believe in climate change") simply don't come close to passing muster when it comes to Lowkell's criteria.  

Right now, the Democratic Party's willingness to give weight to scientific research compared to the Republican Party's doubling-down on anti-science syndrome hatred of a livable economic system represents one of the starkest differences between the parties and one where the American public has a clear sympathy with science ... but that differentiation needs emphasis and elaboration if the Democratic Party's  association with sanity can turn into electoral power.  

Earlier this year, I unexpectedly received a (not huge) bit of cash.  For the most part, I decided to invest this in my children's future.  Writ large, three pools of investment:

* College education funds

* Donations to environment organizations leading on climate-related issues (major (for me) contributions to Friends of the Earth and, with lesser donations to several others) and clean energy non-profits (such as SHE-INC: Solar Household Energy, Incorporated)

* Contributions to politicians who are leaders on climate and energy issues led by a large (again, for me) contribution to Senator Jeff "Energy Smart" Merkley (D-OR) via Act Blue Energy Smart (note: the page needs updating -- suggestions and thoughts welcomed).

As for the last, contributions via pages and paths like that make clear why the candidate is receiving support.

We can all
help make
Energy Smart.

Ask yourself:  

Are you doing
your part to

Let me be clear, again, this is not the easiest of diaries to put out.  From Wisconsin recalls to other elections, the Orange-to-Blue has provided visibility and a path to contribute to worthwhile efforts to use pooled financial resources (often $5 at a time) to help turn the political tide (even if slightly) toward a more sensible and progressive path forward.  While far from the largest OtB contributor, my mouse has clicked and my credit card has seen charges.  Yet, no longer ... I will do my part via political contributions to help make America Energy Smart.

A very simple pledge:  

From now on, I will not make a single political contribution (whether to a school board candidate or Commonwealth representative or House campaign or Presidential election) without highlighting the importance of Energy Smart action.

UPDATE:  A reader reminded me, by email, that the 2010 "Orange-to-Blue" did include energy / environmental issues.  While the question was not, perhaps, specific enough to establish true differentiation, it was a meaningful question of the sort absent in 2011: "Do you think Congress should act to suspend regulation of greenhouse gas emissions by the Environmental Protection Agency?"

Originally posted to A Siegel on Fri Jun 10, 2011 at 06:01 AM PDT.

Also republished by DK GreenRoots, E-V Guide, Science Matters, and Climate Hawks.

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Comment Preferences

    •  PS: This wasn't a bolt out of the blue ... (12+ / 0-)

      Here is, for example, a comment I made to the OtB questionnaire post:  

      That's right ... (3+ / 0-)
      climate is just another issue ... and needs to be in line to be addressed ... oh, yeah, might I mention that we're in a can't wait situation that worsens, seriously, every day.

      No, I will not donate a blue (not red) cent via "Orange to Blue" with this as the criteria. If the candidates merit it, they will get support otherwise but this set of questions makes an explicit statement that environmental/energy/climate issues aren't important enough to the contributors via it to drive voting decisions or contributions.  Well, by not contributing via it, I will signal that they do matter.

      A comment that went without response and without engagement ...

      Blogging regularly at Get Energy Smart NOW! for a sustainable energy future.

      by A Siegel on Fri Jun 10, 2011 at 07:34:04 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Markos watches horse races while we Burn (16+ / 0-)

        He doesn't get it.

        Unique ecosystems are going up in flames while Markos tracks fucking opinion polls about an election over a year off.

        Floods, fires, tornadoes, will come the hurricanes...mark my words...and what do we see?

        Chicken shit details.

        I applaud the excellent detailed work you have done to show that we have the technical means to transform to a green economy. Your work should be refined and highlighted as the road to a green jobs future. The front page would be a great place to put it.

        However, it ain't gonna happen because Markos is onto the pulse of Americans. They want entertainment. They want to track horse races. They love sex scandals.

        It's like we are in the late days of Rome.

        Rome was on fire but the ruling class had become so decadent that they let it burn.

        And "believe" in climate change isn't just Republican framing. It's not the issue.

        WTF are you going to do about climate change?

        Do you support a carbon tax or cap & trade?

        look for my eSci diary series Thursday evening. "It's the planet, stupid."

        by FishOutofWater on Fri Jun 10, 2011 at 07:47:03 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  He's a big willy now. (0+ / 0-)

          He's got his big important 4.0 blog, and all these teevee appearances, and all that good shit.

          I don't say this to question whether or not he has abandoned his values, but instead to say that his priorities are not the same today as they were in the past.

          Media figures, you know...

          Pionta Guinness, le do thoil!

          by surfbird007 on Fri Jun 10, 2011 at 08:08:16 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Disagree ... (8+ / 0-)

            Markos has long said, in essence, 'energy / climate change isn't my thing, politics and horse races are ... force me to paid attention to climate / energy by making it a political issue ...'

            Perhaps this diary is a tool for addressing that point ...

            PS: And, of course, Markos would point to MB, Turkana, Devilstower as front-pagers to highlight the site's attention to energy / climate issues.

            Blogging regularly at Get Energy Smart NOW! for a sustainable energy future.

            by A Siegel on Fri Jun 10, 2011 at 08:45:36 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  So, Kos not a "reality-based" Dem? (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              A Siegel, Mimikatz

              That's what really strikes me about his flippant responses to what is the biggest issue long-term issue facing this country, and the world.    

              All the argument about the stability of Social Security 20 years from now may well be moot, if core inflation from rising food and energy prices rises dramatically over the same period.  Record heat waves may offset some of that, by killing off ever larger numbers of the elderly, who are more vulnerable to heat stroke, particularly if they are turning off their air conditioners because they can't afford the electricity to run them.  40% of the worlds' corn is grown in the U.S., as one example.  But increased climate instability threatens crop yields worldwide, including the Heartland.  Climate change, global warming, and depleted non-renewable energy are not abstract issues; they threaten the fundamental basics of life and civil society.  We ignore them at our peril.  

              Kos' attitude seems to deny not the reality of climate change, but it's political importance.  Excusing a Democratic candidate from answering a simple question about the existence of climate change is essentially saying, hey, we don't care about the reality of the largest threat facing this nation.  You can't be a member of the "reality-based" community and ignore or refuse to "believe in" that reality.  

              Finally, the attitude that "you guys make it an issue, and then I'll pay attention to it" is exactly the attitude that is wrecking this country.  Mortgage fraud?  Make it an issue, and I'll pay attention to it, says Tim Geithner, Pres. Obama, etc.  What more do we have to do to draw attention to it?  Riot in the fucking streets?  Leadership requires listening to your followers.  I don't think answering a question designed to flush out a response to determine whether someone is scientifically literate enough to recognize the vast amount of research that has been done on climate change, and the results of that research, is too much to ask, and no apologia is adequate to excuse someone who is asking for a leadership position from being a member of the reality-based, scientifically literate community.  

              We are the first to look up and know, with absolute certainty, that the sword we ourselves have forged, is real.

              by Jbearlaw on Fri Jun 10, 2011 at 09:08:24 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Let's be clear ... (4+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                AnnieR, Jbearlaw, surfbird007, Odysseus

                I was neither embracing or cheering what I see (I think fairly) as Markos' perspective and expressed views.

                I am, as should be indicated by the diary, in basic agreement you ... and your very well (and passionately) stated comment.

                Blogging regularly at Get Energy Smart NOW! for a sustainable energy future.

                by A Siegel on Fri Jun 10, 2011 at 09:11:41 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Agreed. Was just pointing out . . . (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  A Siegel

                  what I see as an almost absurdist position that Kos has taken.  Fish and surfbird comments make essentially personal attacks against Kos, ascribing motivations that are materialistic and unprovable.  

                  OTOH, I was trying to point out that your push to have a question regarding climate placed in the Questionnaire is more than eminently reasonable, it seems to me to be practically a litmus test; how can you say you are a member of the "reality based community" if you ignore the fundamental reality of climate change and its' consequences?  Challenging or attacking Kos on a personal level does little or nothing, and (I would think) is likely more counterproductive, than challenging him on the obvious logical flaw in his position.  

                  We are the first to look up and know, with absolute certainty, that the sword we ourselves have forged, is real.

                  by Jbearlaw on Fri Jun 10, 2011 at 11:49:54 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

          •  also disagree (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            A Siegel, wader

            First, Markos is writing more on climate and environment than in the past.

            Second, a disagreement on the questionnaire policy should not be lowered to BS personal attack on Markos.

            Third, Markos and other fps have provided enormous assistance to projects and blogathons organized by DK GreenRoots, even putting our promos on FP open threads that made big difference.

            Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Mohandas K. Gandhi

            by Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse on Fri Jun 10, 2011 at 09:53:51 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Priorities Differ (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          wader, A Siegel

          I don't agree with Markos priorities, but that doesn't mean he doesn't have a right to continue to work on them. This website is intended to help get money and volunteers to candidates who have a real chance to win their elections and are more Progressive then their opponent in a way that translates to more votes for the polices that Progressives care about.  Using that kind of criteria and trying to figure out the best use of limited resoures is by definition going to be look like a political horserace most of the time.

          I doubt that Marcos doesn't think that Climatic Change isn't a real and very pressing issue. He has just made a different calculation. He doesn't believe that focusing on that is the way to win elections at this time. If we want to focus on those issues, then we need to find a way to frame the issues that will win elections. For instances, I think "Stop funding the terroist with our oil dollars," is probably a better slogan today then "Lowering greenhouse gasses has to be out top priority".  While I agree with the second slogan, I don't see it winning us very many seats.

          I also want to add that at the end of the day, we all choose where to put our time and money. The current questionaire isn't going to help me all that much to make that decision.  It's not like this questionaire is the only information we will get on candidate. Remember that the groups like Greenpeace are going to be sending detailed questionaires on the enviroment so its not like positions are going to be a secret.

          Personally, I probably won't be sending my contributions throught Orange to Blue, even if I support some or even all of the candidates, because of this. I will send my contributions directly to the candidate with a note indicating specifically why I am supporting them.

    •  i would change your pledge to include (7+ / 0-)

      "climate change, energy  smart and environmental resources" for two primary reasons:

      1. Generally, the 7 questions on the DK orange to blue can NOT happen without addressing these issues. For Example: We are now killing and sickening tens of thousands of men, women and children due to air pollution each year, so health care is meaningless without effective measures on climate change, energy smart and environmental resources. Another example: immigration reform: How do you address that issue without recognizing climate change refugees? Economic issues on the questionnaire, same thing: One of the primary indicators of a country's economic health is access to potable water.

      2.  It is not a matter of belief, but the political courage to stand up to do the right thing. President Obama stated that he needs us to create the movement to have his back given the political calculus in DC.

      We have heard Presidents since Nixon state their belief in the need for green energy, but what did that shared belief get us?

      And, finally, i include wildlife in my definition of environmental resources. Everyone loves critters and want to protect them. But if it were not for environmental organizations that move beyond belief to filing lawsuits, most of the listings for endangered species would not have occurred over the past recent years.

      We all believe, i think, that polar bears who have roamed this earth for 40,000 years should not be killed or rendered extinct yet belief is not making the ice stronger so that they do not have to crawl on the thin ice to avoid drowning.

      Finally, i would direct everyone's attention to how one father tried to explain climate change to his children: publishing a book of 100 places that will disappear due to climate change impacts. This includes cultures and historical structures and way of life that have existed for hundreds if not thousands of years. I am sure many people believe that these places have value, but belief does not keep them safe.



      Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Mohandas K. Gandhi

      by Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse on Fri Jun 10, 2011 at 08:44:31 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Excellent and substantive contribution ... (3+ / 0-)

        as to be expected from you. And, a reference/link to a book that I'd never heard of before (thanks).

        Our disagreements are, writ large, at margin rather than core.

        Perhaps this is the difference between how I read / think of my words and how others do, but "Energy Smart practices" incorporates climate mitigation and environmental resources for me.  Is that simply because "I know what I mean" as opposed to words failing to communicate the real meaning?

        Blogging regularly at Get Energy Smart NOW! for a sustainable energy future.

        by A Siegel on Fri Jun 10, 2011 at 08:54:12 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  my guess is that your energy smart included (3+ / 0-)

          environmental resources cause i know you, but for purposes of what if they actually change the questionnaire, just wanted to make sure they were on same page. :)

          IT's just maddening that we kill mountain chains that have existed for millions of years for MTR so that we can pollute and kill more people and resources that have existed for hundreds and thousands of years. That's why i liked the book so much as tool to show people what we risk that many might not think about.

          Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Mohandas K. Gandhi

          by Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse on Fri Jun 10, 2011 at 09:06:47 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Any donations I make this election cycle (28+ / 0-)

    will be driven by the candidate's stand on the most important issue facing the next few generations* of civilization.

    * = because if we don't figure it out soon, a few generations will be all there is of human civilization.

    Join/follow Climate Hawks and Public Lands; @RL_Miller

    by RLMiller on Fri Jun 10, 2011 at 06:06:14 AM PDT

    •  I'm with you - who I contribute to and support (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RLMiller, A Siegel, surfbird007

      ...this time around is going to hinge on just what real policies those candidates are willing to stand behind and truly fight to enact if they're (re-)elected in 2012.

      This is The. Existential. Problem. of our age and it's about fucking time we humans started acting like it. Our children and those that will follow them will look back on this time and see what was done and left undone as they bear the consequences of our (in)actions.

      "A liberal is a man or a woman or a child who looks forward to a better day, a more tranquil night, and a bright, infinite future." – Leonard Bernstein

      by frisco on Fri Jun 10, 2011 at 07:36:40 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Part of the problem may be that even those (8+ / 0-)

    dems who agree that there is a climate change, caused by man, that requires policies, don't agree on what they should be.  I bet Mary Landrieu agrees that climate change is a huge problem while she pushes for oil friendly policies.

    We've already done a lot of no brainer stuff like  requiring higher MPG and subsidizing alternative clean energies, but what's the dem position for the tough stuff like a cap and trade (dead for now), safe nukes, etc?  

    Avg. Medicaid cost to New Jersey: $1936 per child per year. Avg cost of helicopter commute for Governor: $2300 per hour. Guess which one Christie wants to cut back on?

    by Inland on Fri Jun 10, 2011 at 06:07:20 AM PDT

  •  Kind of obvious when you think about it (9+ / 0-)

    Why would you donate to anyone who appears to be trying to kill you?

    •  It should be... (8+ / 0-)

      But A Siegel makes a good point that quite a few Dems, even including some "progressives", are hesitant to take meaningful and strong action to take on the climate crisis. Here in Nevada, we're quite fortunate to have nearly the entire Democratic Party in strong support of strong climate action... But that's mainly because they're all realizing how lucrative renewable energy can be here. But in other states where dirty energy and dirty manufacturing have a stronghold over local politics, this is more of a problem.

      •  Our politicians, along with our corporations (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        atdnext, A Siegel, blonde moment

        have about a two-year time horizon.  Anything further out than that simply doesn't exist or is someone else's problem.

        •  Big changes in next 6 years (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          A Siegel, GDbot, Odysseus

          A  couple of years ago Jim Hansen  warned that we  have only 10 years to get started seriously reducing CO2 emissions or because of feedbacks it will be too late to avoid catastrophic temperature rises within the lifetimes of the younger folks here (say by 2050-2060).

          The end of the term of  anyone running for Senate is January, 2019  It is likely that by then things will be much, much worse and some avenues may even be foreclosed because such things as melting sea ice have gone too far to be reversed.  It is likely that by 2019 we will have an ice-free arctic ocean in the summer.   Replacing ice with dark water in summer that absorbs more light will greatly accelerate polar warming, destabilizing the ice sheets.  By 2019 many changes may be irreversible, meaning that they cannot be turned around except within geologic time scales, that is tens of thousands of years, even though the full effects like 25 ft or more sea level rises will be felt in the next century and the one after that.

          Obama "believes" climate science, yet he agrees to permit more oil and coal extraction on public lands when what we need is to transition quickly to non-fossil fuel economy.  So obviously "believing" in climate science doesn't translate into the kind of action we need.  Do younger people really not understand how their lives are going to be changed by climate instability?

          The scientific uncertainty doesn't mean that climate change isn't actually happening.

          by Mimikatz on Fri Jun 10, 2011 at 08:41:42 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  2019 is too far away for a Senator (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            A Siegel, Mimikatz, Jbearlaw, Odysseus

            Somebody else's problem.

            Now I'm with Siegel here.  But I will say I used to think that if Obama could be made aware that he is one category 5 hurricane hitting the coast away from turning into Walter Mondale in 2012 you'd see all kinds of action.  Don't think that anymore.  The money shields around DC are too powerful.

      •  The worst slaughter ever caused by humanity (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        A Siegel

        Here we have something that in best case will kill hundreds of millions of people (not to mention damage to other life), and politicians and the press are treating it as if heading it off is just one more issue on a long list.

        We really shouldn't support any politician who doesn't put this first, of all priorities aside from assuring that we don't produce similar results more quickly with a nuclear holocaust. Because a climate holocaust should not be compared to the Nazi holocaust. It's far beyond it. Only a nuclear holocaust is in the same league.

  •  climate change is the most important issue of all (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    A Siegel, atdnext, cordgrass, Matt Z, PeterHug

    I am a down the line progressive but I would even sign on to fascist/Republican theocratic corporate feudalism if there was a magic wand that would guarantee worldwide population control, controlled emissions, and sustainable resource usage that went with it. It trumps everything else. How can it not be on there?

  •  Kos is free to use whatever criteria he (0+ / 0-)

    wants. You can use your own criteria for your donations.

  •  not that I have any money to give.... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    atdnext, A Siegel, Matt Z, trykindness

    but I support you in this.  Couldn't agree more.

  •  Washington inaction on climate change was (8+ / 0-)

    the greatest failure of the 2008-2010 period. It is unclear that there will be another chance given the ability of Democrats in the Senate and Congress to dodge the issue and Republican's unwillingness to stop pretending there is no problem.

    I just can't see a political way forward on this issue in either Canada or the USA.

    We have only just begun and none too soon.

    by global citizen on Fri Jun 10, 2011 at 06:45:05 AM PDT

    •  Actually, there are some ways forward... (7+ / 0-)

      That we can now take while we work for an 113th Congress that will be more willing to take serious action.

      - We must encourage the EPA to set new regulations on carbon emissions and stop Congress from trying to obstruct EPA on this.

      - We must encourage more state and local action. If California can pass AB 32 and cities across the country can sign onto the US Mayors' Climate Initiative, they can certainly start implementing it.

      - We can continue taking personal action. Walk, bike, and use mass transit as much as possible. Take those reusable bags to the grocery store. Xeriscape the outdoor landscaping. There's plenty we can do in our neighborhoods to take meaningful action!

    •  Obviously ... part of my (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      atdnext, global citizen

      and others' struggle is to help find out paths to enable that action.  The "JOBS! JOBS! JOBS!" argument is, well, perhaps one of those if taken to the 2012 election with passion.

      And, well, agreed re the Senate's failure to act and President Obama's failure to lead.  While I really didn't love it, ACES showed a Pelosi-led House willing to act.

      Blogging regularly at Get Energy Smart NOW! for a sustainable energy future.

      by A Siegel on Fri Jun 10, 2011 at 06:53:06 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  not via the national legislative process, anyway (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      A Siegel, global citizen

      but maybe through states, local groups pushing things.

      Organizing to stop the coal port in WA, say.

      And of course, our mission for a better America led by better Democrats is still in its early stages. -- Markos Moulitsas, 5/26/11

      by mightymouse on Fri Jun 10, 2011 at 07:21:06 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Indeed, this is the issue of our time (9+ / 0-)

    and for humans, perhaps all time. We must make it a priority. Every day wasted is an incremental change for the worse.

    You could be listening to DBlog Radio. "We are but temporary visitors on this planet. The microbes own this place" <- Me

    by yuriwho on Fri Jun 10, 2011 at 06:50:01 AM PDT

  •  It's not if a "good Dem" believes in ... (7+ / 0-)

    ... climate change or not.

    It's whether or not these "good Dems" have a plan to get us green jobs at green wages.

    "People should not be afraid of their government; governments should be afraid of their people." --V

    by MikeTheLiberal on Fri Jun 10, 2011 at 06:55:48 AM PDT

  •  This is why my donations go out of state (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    A Siegel

    As a citizen of West Virginia, my state is being destroyed by shortsighted policies whose impacts will turn around and help destroy my country, possibly my world.

    Yet we do not have a single WV politician at the federal level with the courage to accept that national energy policy has to change.

    I don't care if the threat of climate change is tackled from the top down (national caps on GHG emissions, for instance) or the bottom up (weaning the West Virginia economy from its coal dependence), or any other combination of policies and practices. But I care immensely about the speed of those actions - RIGHT NOW isn't soon enough!

    West Virginia's new motto: Ex Os, Ex Mens (go look it up)

    by blonde moment on Fri Jun 10, 2011 at 07:32:17 AM PDT

  •  Agree (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    A Siegel

    Kos makes the glib comment about good dems 'believing in climate change,' but none of the questions on his list are as simplistic as that. He doesn't ask, 'do you believe we should have immigration reform?' or 'should we avoid major changes to Medicare?' He asks detailed policy questions which go beyond lip service to the issues.

    An exception is the first question about the public option. There was a time that this would have been a good question, but that ship has sailed long ago, and will not be seen again. Candidates can pay lip service here and never expect to have to vote accordingly. Asking whether they would oppose rolling back the HCR that was actually achieved might have some value, but the current question is waste. Scrap it for some specific questions on energy/climate policy.

  •  I am very concerned about climate change... (0+ / 0-)

    and not curious about how Milk can help me look and feel my best.

    "We can have democracy in this country, or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both." - Louis D. Brandeis

    by VA6thDem on Fri Jun 10, 2011 at 08:03:24 AM PDT

  •  I totally agree (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Catte Nappe, A Siegel, GDbot

    with the thrust of this diary, but IMHO we should also be attacking this issue from the angle of Energy Security.

    It's really the same issue, but taking it from the Energy Security angle let's us craft the message to hit the climate-deniers and make them irrelevant at the same time. After all, even if someone does not believe in climate change, our dependence on foreign oil bought or stolen from fanatical Muslim enemies is undeniable.

    Shifting to Green Energy is also the perfect vehicle for a new WPA/CCC style jobs program that will put millions of unemployed Americans back on the payroll. No amount of tax cuts will induce the vaunted "job creators" to actually create jobs here as long as demand is stunted and they can offshore jobs to places where workers receive pennies on the dollar compared to Americans. So let's tax the rich and create the jobs ourselves. Reviving the economy will be the immediate payoff. In the medium term, weaning ourselves off the foreign oil addiction will do much to end our interminable Middle East entanglement, saving lives and much, much money. The long term payoff will be cleaner air to breathe and water to drink, as well as mitigation of climate change.

    Just as we must emphasize solar power in sunny areas and wind power in windy places, the best approach to winning over the public on Green Energy is a multi-pronged approach that can most effectively target those who believe as well as scoff at climate change. You don't need to believe in climate change to know that oil, coal, and nukes are bad for our physical as well as our financial health.

    Al Qeada is a faith-based initiative.

    by drewfromct on Fri Jun 10, 2011 at 08:18:11 AM PDT

    •  We've had enough of the public for quite a while (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      A Siegel, profewalt

      But like unemployment, war, peak oil, taxes or a dozen other issues it really doesn't matter.  Political control by big money appears to be damn near total.  

    •  Don't disagree about "energy security" ... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      drewfromct, blonde moment

      since this is one of the paths of discussion and focus that I am in.  On this, see (for example):  TCO, energy, climate, and the military — a brief framing discussion and It's all about capability!

      There are many, overlapping, paths to get to a far better situation than where we are today. They don't all drive the same solution sets but there are tremendous 'no regrets' commonalities such that differences are, mainly, 'on the margins'.

      Blogging regularly at Get Energy Smart NOW! for a sustainable energy future.

      by A Siegel on Fri Jun 10, 2011 at 08:37:11 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I believe that they do (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        A Siegel
        They don't all drive the same solution sets

        If you look at clean, renewable energy as the solution, it can be driven as solving the problems of security, unemployment, and the environment.

        Al Qeada is a faith-based initiative.

        by drewfromct on Fri Jun 10, 2011 at 08:52:58 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Actually ... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          1.  If one is heavily focused on "Peak Oil" with marginal concerns about climate change, coal is a viable solution.

          2.  "Energy Security" can include military investments to maintain continued movement of petroleum while moving to a cleaner energy future.

          3.  "Climate Change" focus drives killing coal ASAP and would downshift, seriously, military expenditures.

          Very (VERY) short-hand ways in which specific focus areas can cause disconnects with others.  

          TO BE CLEAR -- we are probably 99+% in agreement and I definitely agree that a serious energy efficiency & clean energy investment program would improve security, unemployment, and environmental arenas.

          Blogging regularly at Get Energy Smart NOW! for a sustainable energy future.

          by A Siegel on Fri Jun 10, 2011 at 09:08:04 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Not one Green Dollar either! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    A Siegel, GDbot

    I was in the position to donate SUBSTANTIALLY in the last election cycle. I am one of the ground troops in Climate Change especially in polar areas. No candidate will get anything unless recognition as well as local/global solutions are front and center in their campaign and policies. I am tired of the anti-science Luddite policies of both parties. I see  and put together the facts (Drought, F5 Tornadoes, wildfires, floods, ocean warming, polar warming...the list goes on they are linked) that the media happily ignores while salivating over a politicians tweets. We as a planet and civilization are at an abyss. We may have crossed into it due to the ignorance of our so called leaders.
    Solutions and mitigation are there..Green Roofs, 50 mpg autos, Cap and Trade, solar, wind...Yet if it takes any money out of their corporate or Chinese masters it is belittled and de-funded....
    Apologies for the rant and the increase in my blood pressure. I'll leave you with this:

    Science, Bitches...It is our only hope.....

    •  Yup. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      A Siegel, profewalt

      Not one orange cent here, either.

      And while I'm at it, I'd like to reiterate what complete bullshit lip service this issue gets from a lot of Ds.  Plenty will sorta talk the talk, but won't stick their necks out to actually do anything about it.

    •  Might I mention ... (0+ / 0-)

      zero reason for an apology ...  passionate statements from the expert community who, by the way, have the ability to contribute are perhaps one of the ways to 'get the message' across that this matters and that -- along with being an absolute necessity -- this is a winning political issue arena (not just to OtB but, more importantly, to political elites)

      Blogging regularly at Get Energy Smart NOW! for a sustainable energy future.

      by A Siegel on Fri Jun 10, 2011 at 09:26:25 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The Mesage (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        A Siegel

        The Science community has for quite some time fought tooth and nail to get the message across in the media. Our success has been very limited. We have a whoring media that is fixed on entertaining one in between Viagra and BP commercials. In order to wrap ones head around climate and it's implications it requires some thought. It can not be wrapped in a sound bite, tweet, by a twit, or 15 sec. Dr. Oz spot. When I go overseas it is front page news..See the Guardian in the UK for phenomenal coverage of the implications, mitigation strategies and consequences. It is so lacking in the US.  

        •  My example ... (0+ / 0-)

          Le Monde has a page -- every day -- dedicated to "Planete" (on line la planete).  And, the pieces are serious, written for an educated readership.  This is the major newspaper of record ... read this page regularly and, well, you'd have a substantive basis for discussing the complex interrelationship of our global energy / environmental challenges. I do not see an equivalent in the United States.

          Blogging regularly at Get Energy Smart NOW! for a sustainable energy future.

          by A Siegel on Fri Jun 10, 2011 at 01:08:31 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Two front war (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    A Siegel

    There are the profit interests, and the money they put into the poltical system to benefit their interests.

    There is the public which, by and large, does not want to confront any sacrifices of cost, convenience, comfort.

  •  well said, A Siegel (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    A Siegel, GDbot, blonde moment

    I do agree that one of the biggest disconnects out there is that people think of "The Environment" as just another issue, unrelated to anything else. And being labelled as an "environmentalist" means being marginalized as part of a particular interest group. People don't understand that we're all environmentalists all the time by walking on this earth, and that the only reason we have the luxury to argue over things like economic progress is because a very fragile ecosystem is providing us with just the right conditions to live, breathe and survive. What's at stake here is that we are seriously threatening this intricate balance, and if we don't start treading more lightly, all these other issues will become unsolvable. It's like our house is on fire and we're talking about whether we should give it a new paint job.

  •  No question: climate change should be included. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    A Siegel

    I often pay attention/ donate to candidates through orange-to-blue. Won't be doing it again until this is addressed- how can we leave climate action out of a liberal near-litmus test?

  •  CO2 is a concrete measurement (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    A Siegel

    proving - beyond a reasonable doubt - that our present "Growth is God" economic system is deeply dysfunctional and must be fundamentally changed.

    This fundamental change is not going to be effected at the margins by the tepid, incremental changes Congress allows to be considered - and which only serve to provide some pretty speeches in their journey to failure.

    The image, in my mind, is a fight over who gets the microphone on the deck of the Titanic. Right now it's Wiener's wiener.

    muddy water can best be cleared by leaving it alone

    by veritas curat on Fri Jun 10, 2011 at 10:57:17 AM PDT

  •  How many good Germans ... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    were silent on the holocaust?

    Kos, wake up and smell the wildfires.

    There's no such thing as a free market!

    by Albanius on Fri Jun 10, 2011 at 11:02:27 AM PDT

  •  I am so glad that you have an audience here, AS (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    A Siegel, Magnifico

    Tuesday at the Bonn Talks C. Figueres said that climate change and human justice are the most important issues of the time and that economists must soon come around to recognizing the truth ....

    Interesting thing, these official talks in that all eyes seem to be moving to Rio+20 in 2012, given the fact that there is little chance Kyoto's Phase 2 commitment period can become a reality.  There is STILL time and wiggle room within the Rio framework to get some real work done.

    I have advocated for some time the need for a eco literacy test for all progressive candidates to ensure anyone who gets our nod of approval meets standards which ensure they are knowledgeable about how everything pales in comparision to their stand on climate change.

    Kudos for this sensational diary.

    I will say again that I wish there was a united Eco community here at Kos. Because we have a highly literate, passionate and active membership.

    I would welcome being able to find a way to put past problems behind us and to begin to work together.

    As usual, your work is an example which bridges that gap.

    Reporting LIVE from Durban @COP17 ...

    by boatsie on Fri Jun 10, 2011 at 11:09:24 AM PDT

  •  It's difficult to figure out where a candidate (0+ / 0-)

    stands by generic questions.  So if a candidate is asked a question, "Do you believe in climate change?" and the answer is "yes," then what does that show?  Does he/she think it is caused by man and can be corrected or does he/she think it may be part of a natural flux, or both?  Or if the person answers "yes," does it mean that he/she supports wind resources, recycling or nuclear energy or a combination of all to help?  

    •  In other words ... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      the question has to be meaningful.

      From last year:

      * Will you fight any effort to weaken the EPA's ability to regulate pollution under the Clean Air Act?

      Or, well ...

      * Do you support dedicating $50 billion per year in additional spending for renewable energy, climate mitigation, energy efficiency, and climate science?

      Or ...

      Blogging regularly at Get Energy Smart NOW! for a sustainable energy future.

      by A Siegel on Fri Jun 10, 2011 at 01:15:27 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  More or less (0+ / 0-)

        But I generally don't like the questions that interest groups/advocacy groups ask candidates because they are filled with loaded words and jargon.  For example, considering the monstrous complexity to the regulations enforced by the EPA, it is a very nuanced question as to whether a reform of the CAA weakens it -- and what does it mean to weakend the CAA.  Likewise, who knows what the $50B is going to, it could be a big slush for bad organizations with good lobbyists.  I don't have the answer to how to quiz candidates, but I put little stock in the questions asked from either side unless they are very, very specific or about specific pieces of legislation.

  •   Kos's focus of the site is on rearranging (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    A Siegel

    the flawed chess pieces on the board..."reality based" and issues appear to be on the back burner.

    While I know and accept that this is Kos' site and his vision of its purpose should be at the core of the site, I feel that what originally brought me to the site was a different vision and purpose than I now see.

    I am happy to see diaries like this that deal with issues like climate change...none more fundamental to a citizenry that has little time, desire or passion to devote to the vapid political process.

    A chat with you and somehow death loses its sting ~ Black Adder

    by trinityfly on Fri Jun 10, 2011 at 12:09:49 PM PDT

  •  Being on the Orange to Blue list of questions is (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    A Siegel

    about the last thing I'd worry about. Probably it's a good sign.

    Currently NN is going on I think. Probably a couple thousand people jetting in spewing CO2 behind them while relaxing in large air conditioned halls, powered by carbon producing electricity. Any idea of the carbon footprint of netroots nation?

    You want to print photos of oil soaked birds and curse Obama this is a good place. You want to bring real ecologic issues to the fore, meh.

    The good news is it's more than likely candidates the pure endorse will also be good on climate. The bad news is they might well win and a more viable candidate who is also good on the climate will have been picked off in the primaries.

    "Don't fall or we both go." Derek Hersey 1957-1993

    by ban nock on Fri Jun 10, 2011 at 03:17:00 PM PDT

    •  Among many things ... (0+ / 0-)

      I decided that the carbon count was a few hunded pounds (or tons) too heavy to allow me to justify the luxury of going to Netroots Nation ...  This is not the last of issues but, well, this questionnaire is clearly not the most crucial of issues (even as it ignores the most critical issue(s)).

      Blogging regularly at Get Energy Smart NOW! for a sustainable energy future.

      by A Siegel on Fri Jun 10, 2011 at 05:48:08 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  In reading other comments this morning I (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        A Siegel

        noticed one person going, this was his first flight in a few years. Pretty good I thought.

        Glad to see your advocacy of the fight for climate. In the end it trumps all other issues.

        "Don't fall or we both go." Derek Hersey 1957-1993

        by ban nock on Sat Jun 11, 2011 at 07:32:33 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  To be clear ... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ban nock

          I fly ... for work and for family.  

          But, I seek to question: "do I need to".  At work, I have been able to cut 10,000s of miles of flights out by determining that it wasn't worth doing and convincing management that it would be counter-productive and there were other ways to do the work.

          Blogging regularly at Get Energy Smart NOW! for a sustainable energy future.

          by A Siegel on Sat Jun 11, 2011 at 08:09:59 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  I don't believe Markos exists. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    A Siegel

    I believe he is a Nicaraguan robot.

    You are right, Adam.  When someone talks about "belief", they should do so in church.

    Science is about knowledge.  Markos should "know" something before he spouts off on climate.

    "Don't dream it, be it" - Brad, Janet and Frank

    by captainlaser on Fri Jun 10, 2011 at 03:33:53 PM PDT

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