While I was on vacation last week, Governor Bill Ritter travelled on a vacation of his own: a Norwegian Arctic cruise with a “climate change” theme. From the Post:
Gov. Bill Ritter said today that his trip to the Norwegian Arctic last week improved his knowledge of climate change and reinforced his belief that his environmental policies at home are the right ones.
[ Bill ] Ritter was part of a group of that included political leaders, scientists and industrialists who journeyed aboard a ship — the Endeavour — to the Norwegian arctic to view firsthand the effects of climate change.
Besides Ritter, those on the trip included former President Jimmy Carter, Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, former U.S. Sen. Tom Daschle, Chad Holliday, CEO of DuPont USA and Hugh Grant , CEO of Monsanto Co.
The week-long trip on the vessel, sponsored by the Aspen Institute, the National Geographic Society and Linblad Expeditions, featured panel discussions on climate change and outings to glaciers.
Nothing in the Post story stated what evidence reinforced Governor Ritter’s beliefs in his own policies. Even though the Aspen Institute’s report about the vacation contains only platitudes and no actual evidence of “climate change,” it does give an idea of the ideological bent of the cruise.
Among shrinking glaciers and melting sea ice, we came to a fuller understanding that global warming poses real and serious threats: to civilization; to wildlife, forests and the ocean; to fresh water; to agriculture; to human health; to justice; to the poor; to those who are yet to be born—and to peace.
In addition to the climate crisis, we discussed resource consumption and waste, human population pressures, declining ecosystems, and the disproportionate impact of climate change on the world’s poor.
The participants came up with a bullet list of proposals as well.
· Energy: develop and encourage low-carbon and renewable power sources, as well as efficiency and conservation measures, to move us toward energy security and independence
· Economy: face these difficult challenges in ways that create work, wealth and prosperity; strengthen and adapt critical infrastructure; transform vital industries.
· Environment: better understand, protect and restore the health of the Earth’s ecological systems
· Equity: share fairly the burdens and opportunities, especially as they affect the poor and vulnerable (who contribute the least to climate change but are likely to suffer the most)
· Education: teach everyone, especially the next generation, the necessary wisdom and skills to thrive in a low-carbon future
These proposals are all top-down, command and control ideas. It seems that if one were truly concerned about equity, one would promote policies that provide the cheapest energy possible to allow everyone, poor and rich, the opportunity to improve their standards of living. “Climate change” is a concern of the wealthy elites, not the poor. Global warming is pretty far down on the list of problems for someone who lives in poverty and is concerned about skyrocketing energy and food costs.
The Post reports on the huge sacrifices Governor Ritter had to make on his cruise ship.
According to a Linblad Expeditions website, the ship Ritter was on had a fitness center, spa, swimming pool, gift shop and a library. Ritter, who traveled alone, said he had "the smallest of all the cabins" on board, with just a single berth.
Bill Ritter is really living the low carbon lifestyle. After flying halfway across the world (on a solar jet?), he had the smallest carbon (and cabin) footprint on the ship. After all, how could he be a true environmentalist without prominently displaying his hairshirt?
by Civil Sense