Monday, March 1, 2010

Earl Pomeroy - concern troll on climate?

If you have been around the web a bit you surely know what a troll is - someone who tries to poke, prod, goad, and provoke to throw off conversation and discussion. A troll would be someone coming into a health care debate and declaring any reform to be socialism or someone coming into an immigration debate and simply calling anyone expressing concerns a racist or xenophobe.

The concern troll is a particular breed of troll. The concern troll claims to be or tries to act agreeable or supportive but raises questions or doubts that indicate disagreement or lack of support if not complete opposition. The concern troll would say how we definitely need health care reform to decrease costs and cover the uninsured, but it will be tough to deal with the government takeover and rationing that will come with it. Here is a long (translated!) calling out of concern trolls on the issue of climate change.

How is Pomeroy earning a seat under the bridge as a climate change concern troll? First, he has claimed a belief in an overwhelming consensus among the experts that climate is changing. So you might think he would favor doing something to stem climate change, but then you would be wrong. When it is time for action, Pomeroy comes down on the side of so-called "cheap" electricity and the fossil fuel industries.

The first problem is this "cheap" energy. Sure, fossil fuels seem cheap. If you ignore the external costs and look only at what you pay today and directly, you probably do save money. It is like how paying for something with a credit card is cheaper than paying with cash. If the costs do not come up until later, and especially if future generations can be forced to deal with them, why rock the boat?

Pomeroy also likes to push the industry line about how many jobs can be linked to coal. He does not want to risk people whose jobs relate to coal to have to do anything else. So by Pomeroy's short-sighted logic, what other things might he oppose the same way he opposes addressing climate change? There are a lot of people whose jobs are in or supplying the military, so does Pomeroy oppose a more peaceful world since war is good for military jobs? Considering how many people work in health care in high-paying jobs doing things like treating or trying to cure disease, does Pomeroy oppose a healthier populace since that may cut down on jobs in the medical field?

Unsurprisingly Pomeroy voted against American Clean Energy And Security Act of 2009, but more recently he has tried to shine his carbon pollution promotion star by pushing a bill to explicitly exclude greenhouse gases from the Clean Air Act. He wants only Congress to have the authority to regulate greenhouse gases, but he wants Congress to not regulate greenhouse gases. So Pomeroy is like a parent saying the school nurse should not be able to take his becoming-ill child to the hospital because that is a task for the parent, yet he refuses to leave his office to do just that because, you know, his job is important.

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