In a Hill article about certain Washington Democrats skittish about the timing of Al Gore’s call to “end our reliance on carbon-based fuels,” Rep. Zack Space (D-Ohio) makes a illuminating, short-sighted statement:
I think the American public will be much more receptive to arguments about climate change when gas prices aren’t so critical.
Small problem with that: high gas prices aren’t going anywhere.
As the Energy Department says: “The U.S. average regular-grade gasoline price, about $4.10 per gallon on June 30, is projected to remain over $4 per gallon until the fourth quarter of 2009.”
And what’s short-sighted is that the solutions for averting a climate crisis are the same solutions for reducing energy costs: making clean energy and energy-efficiencies widely accessible and affordable, so we have a choice besides buying huge amounts of increasingly expensive oil.
Conservatives are adept at exploiting crises to build support for ideas that do nothing to solve the problem at hand.
It’s just as easy to exploit crises to build support for real solutions. But that requires some foresight and some teamwork.