On September 15th The Sacramento Bee published a commentary titled The greening of California about the recently passed California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006. The author, Wayne Madsen, is "a contributing writer for the liberal Online Journal."
He enthusiasticallly believes that California is implementing "the nation's first sweeping carbon curbs law." He first tells the reader that "far from hurting California's huge economy -- will provide a boost to its burgeoning "green business" sector. Other states should consider following suit." He goes on to assure businesses that they will not be hurt by the new measures, rather a new "green industrial" base will develop. For the most part, we agree.
But then, in an all too familiar anti-establishment screed, he lambastes the very businesses and municipal governments that will be charged with complying with the legislation:
"New ideas on eco-friendly energy initiatives are not popular with many obstinate oil industry and chamber of commerce leaders -- individuals, who, under the Bush-Cheney administration, all too often have become pampered fat cats. The tide is finally turning against the corporate naysayers who've repeatedly sabotage the drive to produce a cleaner, healthier planet. California -- always a global trendsetter -- now has found one trend that transcends surfboards and Barbie dolls and just may eventually save Mother Earth."
Below is my response to Madsen's commentary...
Give innovators a chance.
Blaming industry and municipal leaders as obstructionists is simplistic myopia. There are literally billions of investment dollars impatiently waiting for the California legislature to enact regulatory reform that will enable entrepreneurs and developers to deploy the kind of technologies that this law is meant to foster.
Case in point - L.A.'s RENEW L.A. plan. This visionary waste management plan will use clean, safe conversion technologies to reduce dependence on shrinking landfills, lower greenhouse gases, produce green electricity and biofuels, and support environmental justice while providing thousands of new "green collar" jobs for Californians. But because of the inertia of the Assembly Natural Resources Committee, outdated regulations and permitting hurdles have and will continue to hold up implementation for years.
Who is intimidating the politicians? To a surprising extent it is groups like Californians Against Waste and their unquestioning followers who self-righteously purport to represent recycling and environmental interests - but whose agenda is as turf-protecting and self-serving as the businesses, utilities, and municipal governments they unjustly decry. Because of the multiplying dangers of the status quo, many in the green movement are starting to recognize the urgent need to be more open-minded about alternative energy technologies.
Since California is going to hold companies responsible for meeting new emissions guidelines, legislators MUST give them the tools and authorization to plan and deploy clean replacement technologies. Progress results from an evolutionary process of planning, research and practical application.
The mantra "Environmentalism" is a "golden calf" to the masses who ignorantly allow the status quo to continue to fester into mounting disasters. We need to write new laws that give innovators a chance to reduce greenhouse gases.
technorati greenhouse, California, legislation, global warming, bioenergy, environment, investment