Bummer: No One Is Lobbying For ‘Climate Change’

by William Teach | June 7, 2016 8:02 am

So says a guy who uses lots of fossil fuels to travel to and fro as a sitting US Senator. We are speaking of uner-Alarmist Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I), who still refuses to answer the question “have you given up use of fossil fuels and made your life carbon neutral?” Here he is in Forbes, whining as usual[1]

In a recent week in Washington, I took lobbying meetings with TechNet, the lumber industry and the property casualty insurance industry. Let me give you a glimpse inside these meetings, because they help explain why so little progress is being made in Congress on climate change.

TechNet represents the technology giants like Apple and Google, among others, and also an array of clean and renewable energy companies. The tech companies tend to be forward-leaning on climate change and the interest of the clean energy sector is obvious. This group is big and powerful enough to lobby us in bulk, so there was a group meeting with many Senators in a big room. TechNet brought glossy materials listing the issues on which they wanted Congressional action. Climate change was not on the list.

A day or two later, two lumber dealers came to see me, and I stepped out of a hearing to talk with them. The western lumber industry is losing millions of acres of pine forest to the pine beetle, which thanks to climate change is now marauding into latitudes and altitudes from which cold temperatures had kept it before. The eastern hardwoods industry complains of its valuable stock being hard to regrow in warming northeastern forests. The lumber guys had a less glossy handout with their list of concerns for Congress. Again, climate change was not one of them.

Then the property casualty insurance folks met with me in my office. They had a list of issues to go over with me, too. Despite the fact that this industry writes the checks when extreme weather destroys homes and property, and despite rising claims as climate change and storms and damage all worsen, their list also did not include action on climate change.

Skipping past the Warmist duckspeak on pine beetles, extreme weather, etc, and the fact that Whitehouse offers zero proof that the climatic changes in the Modern Warm Period are caused mostly/solely by mankind, is it any wonder they businesses do not care? For one thing, it would require that these companies put their own money on the line, and change the behavior of their companies.

I asked them all, if you are not going to lobby on climate change, who do you think will? If TechNet with its green energy firms, the lumber industry with its climate challenges, and the property casualty insurance industry paying for storm damage, all come to Washington and don’t even have climate change on their lobbying portfolio, what do they expect from Congress?

Washington’s dirty secret is that even the American companies that are really good on sustainability put net zero effort into lobbying Congress on climate change.

Why is this a secret? In the Real World, most do not care enough about the issue. It consistently ranks last or near last on lists of American concerns.

Throughout the American corporate sector, corporate leaders I’ve talked to about this problem uniformly assert fear of retribution as a reason to stand clear. The Republican Party is now so intertwined with the fossil fuel industry, and so dependent on it for “dark money,” that fossil fuel interests can deploy Republican politicians to exact retribution for lobbying on climate.

Oh, OK. Can we see proof of this, Sheldon? Even just one example?

In my experience, plenty of Republican members of Congress would like to get to work on climate change, for reasons of principle, or because of constituent demands, or from simple fear of being appallingly wrong on a vital issue. But their immediate calculation is that the fossil fuel industry will punish them if they dare, and they won’t have a single trustworthy friend at their side. This is not an unreasonable fear after Citizens United, with groups like the Koch Brothers’ network very publicly wielding a $750 million political spending cudgel, and warning of “political peril” to those who cross them.

In fact, retribution is almost solely a function of Democrats, who want to punish people for “Wrongthink”, whether it be on climate change, the gender confused, illegal immigration, abortion on demand, or a host of other issues. Republicans just tend to ignore stupid ideas. Like anthropogenic climate change. Especially when those who push it the hardest refuse to make significant changes in their own lives.

Crossed at Pirate’s Cove[2]. Follow me on Twitter @WilliamTeach[3].

  1. whining as usual: http://www.forbes.com/sites/realspin/2016/06/07/lobby-climate-change-failure/#68dbefde69d3
  2. Pirate’s Cove: http://www.thepiratescove.us/
  3. @WilliamTeach: http://twitter.com/WilliamTeach

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