The GOP Chose an Ostrich to Respond to The State of the Union Speech

Every once in awhile I rant. This is one of those times.

I sat down this week to watch President Obama give the American State of the Union speech. In it he acknowledged the need for action on climate change.

Then I watched the Republican response and the spin that ensued on the Fox Network. There was Senator Marco Rubio, the future of the Republican Party, dismissing any notion of government action on the climate file.

Rubio told Fox News:

“The government can’t change the weather. I said that in the speech. We can pass a bunch of laws that will destroy our economy, but it isn’t going to change the weather.” He went on further to state, “America is a country, it’s not a planet…..So we can pass a bunch of laws or executive orders that will do nothing to change the climate or the weather but will devastate our economy. Devastate it!”

Rubio pointed to other countries in the blame game.

The United States, in his mind, is absolved from doing anything because India and China are growing and polluting even more than America.

What he doesn’t seem to know is that both those countries have implemented carbon cap and trade regulations to control emissions.

What he didn’t acknowledge is that although China emits more CO2 into the atmosphere than the United States, its footprint per capita is significantly less than America with a population four times greater.

And what he didn’t acknowledge or seem to know is that China is building renewable energy infrastructure at a pace that makes the American effort look pretty weak.

That’s because Rubio doesn’t live in a real world, like so many of his Republican colleagues.

He’s still not convinced that climate change is a real problem. In a recent interview this spokesperson for the GOP, and leading candidate to run for the presidency in 2016, stated that climate change was not a proven fact.

I quote, “I know people said there’s a significant scientific consensus on that issue, but I’ve actually seen reasonable debate on that principle.”

Reasonable debate? What the heck is he talking about….some blogger who is in the back pocket of big polluters?

You can listen to the “Great Latino Hope” of the Republican Party and his comments on Fox News and truly understand that once again, the GOP leadership is out-of-touch with planetary realities. Senator Rubio and his GOP brain trust are the proverbial ostriches, burying their heads in the sand and thinking that whatever peril exists is not part of their reality.

The President in his speech urged the Congress of the United States to pass a market-based solution for climate change.

What did he mean? A solution similar to the one that President George Bush was able to sign off on to deal with controlling pollutants causing acid rain, a cap and trade system.

Imagine, a Republican President in the last century having the vision to address a problem with  a solution that altered behaviour by rewarding emitters who reduced their pollution footprint and punishing those financially who didn’t.

The President also stated that the United States must go “all-in on clean energy.” This while his GOP opposition and some brain dead members of his own party were trying to railroad the licensing of three new coal-fired power plants prior to the State of the Union address. Let’s hope those licensing initiatives are now dead and buried.

The President also proposed a trust fund using oil and gas royalty revenues that the federal government collects with the plan to use the billions it would amass to get the United States off fossil fuels.

Even President George W. Bush, a Republican, acknowledged during his presidency that the United States needed to wean itself off fossil fuels. But I don’t see even this limited vision being part and parcel of Republican leadership these days.

Under the influence of the uninformed and the clueless, and with the Tea Party in its midst, the GOP has become the party of the stupid.

And the picture below is of the leading light who they have chosen to proclaim their message of willful ignorance.

Thus ends my rant!



Len Rosen lives in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. He is a researcher and writer who has a fascination with science and technology. He is married with a daughter who works in radio, and a miniature red poodle who is his daily companion on walks of discovery.