“Climate” and the Campaign

So it seems that Al Gore is lamenting that "the climate crisis" is not an issue in the nascent 2012 campaign for the White House. Meanwhile, ClimateWire (subscription required) reaffirms the popular reportage and claim by UN aficionados and Eurocrats alike, that in December the U.S. agreed in Durban to a "pact, which mandates the creation of a legally binding climate treaty by 2015."

That is, the world believes that we legally bound ourselves to legally binding ourselves to a Kyoto II treaty by 2015. I do recall such pipe-dream political commitments by a Democratic president causing problems for a Republican successor, and the country, in the past.

While on its face such UN-speak is absurd — so, we bound ourselves to be bound, which means we bound ourselves to the new treaty? May we please immediately commence Art. II Sec. 2 "advice and consent" on this? — it does beg a political debate about what in the world is going on and, while we're at the process of discerning President Obama's intentions, what distinctions exist between him and the Republican candidates. If any.

And speaking of the latter, I have received an email under Texas's Public Information Act, written by Newt Gingrich's co-author Terry Maple to Texas Tech University Professor Katharine Hayhoe. It reveals that as of December 7, 2011, Newt's co-author reaffirmed his labors cobbling together the final version of the sequel to their 2007 book, A Contract with The Earth, tentatively titled Environmental Entrepreneurs set for post-election release. More to the point, Maple was writing to reaffirm Hayhoe's contribution of a "climate" chapter. That's the chapter about which Newt told an Iowa voter, "That's not going to be in the book. We didn't know that they were doing that, and we told them to kill it."

That assertion came when Rush Limbaugh called Newt out on this apparent indicator that he is not fully cured of his couch-trip with Nancy Pelosi and dreaming of gentle bureaucratic ministrations to the earth's temperature. An earlier email provided to the Los Angeles Times indicates had made this arrangement on Gingrich's behalf some time ago, and we now know it was still planned for the book days before Gingrich's claim of ignorance, implying he is of course no longer interested in such folly.

Incidentally, Texas Tech curiously withheld some language about scrambling they were doing about "ethanol [REDACTED]." Hmm. Anyway, Gore is right. This should be an issue in the campaign. And just as in 2008, it likely will not be, thanks to Republican aspirants with track records on the issue making them want to avoid it at all costs. (Remember, Mitt Romney previously brought in as advisors Obama's chief science adviser, John Holdren, and Assistant Administrator of EPA in charge of the looming Clean Air Act "train wreck" orchestrated after the failure of cap-n-trade, Gina McCarthy.)

To call this dynamic a "free-ride" for the candidates would not be entirely accurate. After all, when whoever it is settles in, we are the ones who will pay for this. Which demands that someone insist these candidates clearly stake out their respective positions on the global warming policies and commitments.