Henry Paulson, Climate Change Action Advocate?

Apparently the Wall Street-er is now.  The last guy I’d want to see on a financial advisory panel is now jumping aboard the climate change is a thing bandwagon.

And after careful consideration – welcome aboard Henry.

Here is a quote from his opinion piece in Sunday’s NYT

“We’re making the same mistake today with climate change (as we made in the financial crises). We’re staring down a climate bubble that poses enormous risks to both our environment and economy. The warning signs are clear and growing more urgent as the risks go unchecked.

This is a crisis we can’t afford to ignore. I feel as if I’m watching as we fly in slow motion on a collision course toward a giant mountain. We can see the crash coming, and yet we’re sitting on our hands rather than altering course.

We need to act now, even though there is much disagreement, including from members of my own Republican Party, on how to address this issue while remaining economically competitive. They’re right to consider the economic implications. But we must not lose sight of the profound economic risks of doing nothing.”

This is a point I wish conservatives would consider.  

“The solution can be a fundamentally conservative one that will empower the marketplace to find the most efficient response.”

Not only that, but many of the things we liberals are trying to protect are things that conservatives pretend to want to protect too – things like agriculture, timberland, things like having local governments be empowered to take action with local methods instead of State or Federal governments. (I’m going off of Paulson’s talking points here but working to minimize the damage of climate change should be a conservative calling as well as liberal.)

Here is more…

“But climate change is a more intractable problem. The carbon dioxide we’re sending into the atmosphere remains there for centuries, heating up the planet.  

That means the decisions we’re making today — to continue along a path that’s almost entirely carbon-dependent — are locking us in for long-term consequences that we will not be able change but only adapt to, at enormous cost.

And maybe Henry can convince Mr. Dunn of Redway whose T-S letter to the editor I linked to last week.  Mr. Dunn was bringing up how much more innately responsible conservatives are than liberals.  You would think Mr. Dunn.  Unfortunately, they’ve put all their eggs in Rush Limbaugh’s basket.  Here’s Mr. Paulson again…

“When you run a company, you want to hand it off in better shape than you found it. In the same way, just as we shouldn’t leave our children or grandchildren with mountains of national debt and unsustainable entitlement programs, we shouldn’t leave them with the economic and environmental costs of climate change. Republicans must not shrink from this issue. Risk management is a conservative principle, as is preserving our natural environment for future generations. We are, after all, the party of Teddy Roosevelt.”

And like I’ve been trying to say, we need local leadership too.  We could make the State and Federal regulations or policies so much more effective if we would not only employ businessmen and mortgage brokers like Mr Paulson recommends in his piece, but also empower our local planners to work in the interest of the public rather than the Chamber of Commerce.

Climate change is the real deal folks and it’s not ever going to go away.  Let’s just start working for solutions today instead of tomorrow.

Looking forward to your leadership on this Supervisor Bass – you said during the campaign climate change is real.  How is the all-but-certainly newly re-elected 4th District people’s representative going to lead on this issue?


One thought on “Henry Paulson, Climate Change Action Advocate?

  1. UPDATE…

    Great response by Paul Krugman today on the NYT Op Ed page which ends with this ..

    “So let me suggest a different analogy, one that he probably won’t like. In policy terms, climate action — if it happens at all — will probably look like health reform. That is, it will be an awkward compromise dictated in part by the need to appease special interests, not the clean, simple solution you would have implemented if you could have started from scratch. It will be the subject of intense partisanship, relying overwhelmingly on support from just one party, and will be the subject of constant, hysterical attacks. And it will, if we’re lucky, nonetheless do the job.

    Did I mention that health reform is clearly working, despite its flaws?”

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