One of the important take-home messages in Peter Barnes’ Climate Solutions is that the political action needed for addressing global warming has to be done right, and it has to be done right the first time. That’s not only because time
is running has pretty much run out, it’s that the needed policies will be forcing large changes on the economy’s status quo, and politics being what it is, any policies adopted risk being undermined by fair-weather politicians in the future. The first tool in the belt of the underminers is to greenwash government action–have the government adopt policies that look like they’ll do something but in reality won’t do enough. Adding insult to injury, they also threaten to enrich the fossil fuel industries at the expense of everyone else. Instead of fiddling while Rome burns, it’ll be like mailing out Photoshopped images of Congress “fighting the fire” when actually they’re roasting marshmallows with their benefactors in the box seats. Most voters won’t be in a position to know the difference, and so the politicians will get to spit shine their reputations with voters as leaders on the issue and eat their corporate contributions too.
The environmental group Friends of the Earth is on the same page as Barnes. They’ve got a letter-to-Congress campaign going to beat back the first major greenwash effort being led by
Senator Corporate Tool Joe Lieberman. “FIX or DITCH the Lieberman-Warner Global Warming Bill.” On your way to picking up a copy of Barnes’ vital new book (which has additional tips on how to make climate policy more resistant to political backsliding), take a moment to click over to FoE and join the fight.