Senate Majority Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has instructed Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) to produce a revamped climate bill as soon as possible, according to sources, a task Kerry intends to accomplish within two weeks.
So the Washington Postreported at 7:37 pm ET, at their cleverly (ironically?) named Post Carbon site.
Our guest blogger is Sarah Collins, intern with the Energy Opportunity team at the Center for American Progress and a graduate of the University of Michigan Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy.
The Congressional Budget Office’s new analysis determined that the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) created up to 2.1 million jobs and boosted the economy by up to 3.5 percent in the last three months of 2009. This assessment disproves the claims of nay-saying conservative lawmakers who voted against ARRA and continue to claim that it has not created jobs while wasting money. Despite their opposition to and untrue claims about the nationwide benefits of ARRA, many Congressional Republicans continue to seek funds for clean energy projects and programs that would create jobs in their state or district.
For instance, every member of the Illinois congressional delegation signed a letter urging Gov. Pat Quinn to provide “Recovery Act (ARRA) funding to expand the Illinois Community College Sustainability Network.” Among the signers were Republican Reps. Mark Kirk, Don Manzullo, Peter Roskam, Tim Johnson, Aaaron Schock, and John Shimkus. They received $1.7 million for campus energy projects such as green skills development, decreasing campus energy consumption, energy technology demonstration, and green collar jobs creation. Yet all of these members have attacked ARRA:
– Kirk: Out of control federal spending and borrowing is not sustainable and threatens to dramatically increase the long-term tax burden of our children.
– Manzullo: The original bill was chock full of spending that would neither create jobs nor stimulate our economy, and very little was focused on job-creating infrastructure improvements and putting money back in people’s pockets so they could re-invest it in the economy.
– Roskam: By spending over $1 trillion, the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office estimated that this legislation will have zero impact on our gross domestic product by 2013, and a negative impact on GDP by 2019 — greatly weakening our economy over time.
– Johnson: This plan was flawed from the outset and nearly everything in it runs contrary to common sense.
– Schock: And while our unemployment continues to hover around 10 percent, Speaker Pelosi and the Administration continue trumpeting this failed plan as a success story despite the fact they know it has failed to meet the goals they set.
– Shimkus: I have expressed my discontent with how much money is being spent in Washington, and my votes reflect that position.
Responding to the announcement that former White House green jobs advisor Van Jones will be the recipient this Friday of an NAACP Image Award, Fox News relaunched its smear campaign against the environmental leader. According to NAACP president Benjamin Todd Jealous, Van Jones is an “American treasure” who has been “one of America’s most effective and inspiring bridge-builders,” finding “creative solutions to the ecological and economic crises.” However, the Fox & Friends morning show — hosted by Gretchen Carlson, Steve Doocy, and Brian Kilmeade — took the announcement as an opportunity to run “some of his most spectacular sound bites that we’ve strung together in a montage form”:
. . . You’ve never seen a Columbine done by a black child . . . the white polluters and the white environmentalists are basically steering poison into the people-of-color communities . . . Wait a minute, aren’t you an oil company? Aren’t you killing —s in Nigeria? Hold on a second . . . some cowboy cliques in the police department who have a frat boy mentality . . . the President of the United States sounded like a crack head . . . like a crack head trying to lick the crack pipe for a fix . . . the answer to that is they’re a—s. And Obama’s not an a—e . . .
It is certainly true that Van Jones has been a harsh, sometimes incendiary critic of polluters and social and racial injustice. But he has always confronted the difficult issues of race and pollution with humor and compassion:
“You’ve never seen a Columbine done by a black child” Excerpted from a 2006 speech about social justice, Van Jones expresses his anger that both white and black young men are suffering in this country, and asks for concern, love, and compassion for young men.
“the white polluters and the white environmentalists are basically steering poison” Clipped from a January 2008 interview, Van Jones was explaining how the environmental movement evolved over the 20th century with the influence of Silent Spring and the environmental justice movement. He talks about how he is part of the “third wave” of environmentalism that is “solution oriented” and “investment oriented,” and how to make it “rainbow from the beginning.”
“some cowboy cliques in the police department who have a frat boy mentality” In 2005, Bay Area Police Watch president Van Jones criticized members of the San Francisco Police Department who “ignored the diversity training” and created homophobic, misogynistic, and racist videos. Twenty officers were suspended, and the creator of the videos has since resigned. The chief of police called the videos “egregious, shameful, and despicable.”
“the President of the United States sounded like a crack head” Excerpted from his hour-long 2008 address to the Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations, Jones mocked President Bush for begging the king of Saudi Arabia to increase oil production. Before stepping down from his White House position, Van Jones apologized.
“the answer to that is they’re a—s” Cut from a February, 2009 lecture to the Berkeley Energy and Resources Collaborative. Responding to a question about why Democrats “need” 60 senators to pass their agenda but Republicans didn’t, Jones explained that the Republicans are “assholes,” a “technical, political and scientific term” which he said also applies to himself. Before stepping down from his White House position, Van Jones apologized.
Not only were the Fox & Friends crew uninterested in context in their continued smear against Van Jones, they were unconcerned with accuracy. “Most of those were from before the time he was a green czar,” Doocy said, “and then of course they came to light and of course he had to resign from the Obama Cabinet.” In fact, Jones, who was never a member of the Cabinet, made none of the comments while at the White House.
More important than any impolite language, of course, is the reality of the dirty, deadly influence of polluters on our society, economy, and politics — which even the propaganda machine of Fox News cannot hide. Van Jones will receive his Image Award in a live broadcast Friday on Fox.
Aside from some factual misstatements and the false equivalence that suffuses piece, the essay makes no useful contribution to the climate debate because it fails the two great tests of any serious essay on the subject: Read more
So I’m delighted to report that, “Today the Center for American Progress announced that Van Jones is rejoining the center as a Senior Fellow and leader of the Green Opportunity Initiative, a new CAP project,” as a CAP press release explains. Here’s the rest of the PR, followed by WashPost interview:
By Climate Guest Blogger on Feb 24, 2010 at 1:00 pm
Guest blogger John Atcheson just retired from a long career in government service, most recently as a Senior Analyst working for the DOE on weatherization. His job consisted primarily of analyzing innovative policies to increase the effectiveness of the Weatherization and State Grant Programs.
Yesterday, the NY Times ran a story on a report by DOE’s Inspector General pointing to problems in the implementation of the scaled up the Weatherization Assistance Program under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. To be sure, the implementation has not been as fast as some expected. And as usual, “bureaucrats” received the brunt of the blame.
But the bottom line is that the program has moved with speed and is poised to move much faster from this point forward. Since it’s Winter Olympics time, let me offer an analogy: The NYT is reporting on the pace of ascending the mountain on the ski lift, while ignoring the pace at which the skiers will descend – and the benefits that will accrue.
Senator John Kerry vowed the United States would overcome the odds and approve action on climate change, as the United Nations set talks for April to help break a diplomatic logjam.
Without offering a timetable, Kerry on Tuesday rejected assertions that it had become politically impossible for the Senate to finalize the first US nationwide plan to curb carbon emissions blamed for global warming.
“I’m excited. I know that’s completely contrary to any conventional wisdom,” said Kerry, a close ally of President Barack Obama and chief architect of the legislation.
By Climate Guest Blogger on Feb 24, 2010 at 9:18 am
Our guest book reviewer is John Atcheson who has more than 30 years in energy and the environment with government, private industry, and the nation’s leading think tanks (see “Utility decoupling on steroids.”) He is working on his own novel about climate change.
Sometimes, fiction is the best way to win friends and influence people — H. G. Wells’ The Time Machine and George Orwell’s classic, 1984 come to mind. Each provoked a visceral reaction that galvanized the culture around it, changing forever the way issues such as class and totalitarianism were perceived. Neville Shute’s On the Beach made the consequences of nuclear war real, and therefore, unthinkable.
In a scientifically illiterate culture such as ours, these kinds of myth-based meta-narratives may be the best way to communicate complex scientific issues like climate change. Myths, as Bill Moyers and Joseph Campbell revealed, are not necessarily false, nor are they automatically at odds with science. At their best, they provide another way of viscerally experiencing a truth.
A spate of novels and movies that feature climate change as either an overt part of the story-line, or an implicit backdrop against which mythical heroes strive may be creating the critical mass for a cultural awakening that allows climate change to be perceived at that pre-rational level – the kind of limbic awareness that motivates change. Or so we can hope.
Jones will also be the recipient this Friday of an NAACP Image Award, celebrating Jones’ achievements as “one of America’s most effective and inspiring bridge-builders” to find “creative solutions to the ecological and economic crises.” According to NAACP president Benjamin Todd Jealous, Van Jones is an “American treasure“:
Van Jones is an American treasure. He is quite simply one of the few Americans in recent years to have generated powerful new ideas that are creating more jobs here. He penned the national bestseller, “The Green Collar Economy,” which provided the definitive blueprint for retooling American industry to create pathways out of poverty and generate a national economic recovery. He was a driving force behind passage of the 2007 Green Jobs Act. In fact, Van’s ideas have helped lead to the creation of tens of thousands of jobs across the industrial Midwest and throughout the nation’s decaying urban and rural areas.
John Podesta, President and CEO, Center for American Progress explains the Green Opportunity Initiative to be led by Van Jones:
Van is a pioneer in the effort to promote a clean, sustainable economy that works for all Americans. I’m proud that he’s coming back to CAP to focus on creating economic opportunity in distressed communities through the Green Opportunity Initiative and that he will be giving voice to those issues once again.
Jones will also have “a one-year joint appointment as a distinguished visiting fellow at Princeton University’s Center for African American Studies and Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, where he will teach a seminar on environmental and economic policy.” Eddie Glaude Jr., chair of the Center for African American Studies, told the Washington Post that Van Jones is “the leading voice in the environmental justice movement.”
Grist‘s David Roberts says Van Jones “has emerged from his self-imposed semi-exile with a bang.”
Edited by Joe Romm, we cover climate science, solutions and politics. Columnist Tom Friedman calls us "the indispensable blog" and Time magazine named us one of the 25 "Best Blogs of 2010." Newcomers, start here.