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Bush-Exxon Flak Claims Global Warming Debate Is ‘Environment Vs. Economy’

By Brad Johnson

"Bush-Exxon Flak Claims Global Warming Debate Is ‘Environment Vs. Economy’"

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greenKenneth P. Green of the American Enterprise Instute (AEI) graced yesterday’s Washington Post opinion pages with a piece entitled “It’s Not Easy Being Green.

Green claimed the differences between the global warming plans of the presidential candidates are questions “about stringency and method” — “stringency” being Green’s scare-word for doing what science says is necessary to avoid climate catastrophe. Throughout the piece Green reiterates the tired claim that solving global warming means choosing between the environment and the economy, saying:

The eternal tension of environment vs. economy has been largely pooh-poohed by environmentalists in recent years of high-flying economic performance, but it will not be as easily waved away with the U.S. standing at the threshold of a recession and with the U.S. automotive sector in serious competitive trouble.

The only thing “green” about Kenneth Green is his name. In 2007, he offered scientists and economists $10,000 each on behalf of AEI, “to undermine a major climate change report” from the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

AEI is part of the Exxon machine. Lee Raymond, the ExxonMobil CEO who received a $400 million golden parachute upon retirement in 2005, is on the AEI board of trustees. AEI has received $1,870,000 in funding from Exxon since 1998, and its fellows include Dick Cheney’s wife Lynne, torture advocate John Yoo, and neoconservative architects of the Iraq war like John Bolton, Richard Perle, Fred Kagan, and Paul Wolfowitz.

The true choice in the global warming debate is between the gray fossil-fuel economy and a green sustainable economy. As Van Jones of Green For All described to Grist:

There’s no way to get changes big enough to solve these problems without creating pathways out of poverty for millions of new green-collar workers. The renewable economy is more labor-intensive, less capital-intensive; therefore, there should be a net increase in jobs. There will also be lots and lots of money made. So beyond just having African-American kids be the workers in a green economy, we also want them to be inventors and investors and owners and entrepreneurs in the green economy.

Green For All is now hosting the Dream Reborn conference in Memphis, Tennessee, marking the 40th anniversay of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination, “to bring together a generation of new leaders who are taking on the chief moral obligation of the 21st century, building a green economy for all.

To find out more about how Americans are working together to build the green economy, read the Center for American Progress series, It’s Easy Being Green.

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