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View Diary: Baucus out, it's Schweitzer time (134 comments)

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  •  why do I think the chimera of clean coal is bad? (9+ / 0-)

    because there ain't no such critter. Clean coal is a chimera; or, if you prefer, a fairy tale.  Coal is a threat to the human race. The only candidates who will get my time, money, and enthusiasm are those seeking an end to the mining, transport, and burning of coal.

    If Schweitzer supports the recent call for a moratorium on Powder River Basin coal, I'll be enthusiastic about him. Until then: meh. He's no better or worse than Baucus on the greatest challenge facing the next few generations of humanity. (Or, if you prefer, "my pet issue.")

    Do the math. #unfrackCal. @RL_Miller

    by RLMiller on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 09:19:48 AM PDT

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    •  He did not ask you this question: (12+ / 0-)
      why do I think the chimera of clean coal is bad?
      He asked you why you thought "pet issues," meaning "favorite issues" was bad.  

      It would make for a better conversation is you responded to his actual question.

      If I read you right, you think climate change is the only issue and those who are not good on it should not receive any support?  But I should not have to ask.  It's far easier to say what you eman and respond to the actual question asked.

      I also think clean coal is an oxymoron.   And on enviromental issues, he probably is as bad as Baucus.  he may be better on other issues.  I have a finite amount of money, so who knows if I will be able to donate.

      Join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news and views written from a black pov—everyone is welcome.

      by TomP on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 09:37:25 AM PDT

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      •  We also have a finite amount of time (10+ / 0-)

        Bill McKibben:

        Unlike gay rights or similar issues of basic human justice and fairness, climate change comes with a time limit.  Go past a certain point, and we may no longer be able to affect the outcome in ways that will prevent long-term global catastrophe. We’re clearly nearing that limit and so the essential cowardice of too many Democrats is becoming an ever more fundamental problem that needs to be faced.  
      •  unclear to me: (7+ / 0-)

        whether Markos was questioning my comment re "pet issues" or questioning the "clean coal." And I didn't state that having pet issues is bad. However, since people are asking:

        Yes, we all have favorite issues.

        Yes, some issues should be considered more important than others regardless of an individual's favorites.

        Yes, climate change is the greatest challenge facing the next few generations of humanity.

        No, I am not going to put my time, energy, and enthusiasm into candidates who don't rank climate change as a top priority.

        Yes, I continue to be bemused by Markos' labeling of climate change as just another pet issue or favorite issue.

        Hope that's clear.

        Do the math. #unfrackCal. @RL_Miller

        by RLMiller on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 09:54:22 AM PDT

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        •  That's cool. It was ambiguos. (5+ / 0-)

          I agree with this:

          Yes, climate change is the greatest challenge facing the next few generations of humanity.
          I have no problem with this.  Time and money are finite:
          No, I am not going to put my time, energy, and enthusiasm into candidates who don't rank climate change as a top priority.
          I missed Markos' labeling of climate change.

          This is hard to do:

          Yes, some issues should be considered more important than others regardless of an individual's favorites.
          You suggest an objective ordering of issues that everyone should see and hold.  But life is subjective and to a gay person wantiing to marry, that might be to him or her an "issue should be considered more important than others regardless of an individual's favorites."

          You can make your case, as you do here and generally do very well, but so far people have not adopted that view re climate change.  It appears that the pipeline has started an environmental mass movement, after years of sporadic activity (not mass-based).  I think that's good.

          But even there, working on lead paint poisoning sometimes is an immediate issue (babies being brain-damaged) and some people will put their efforts into that.

          On the other hand, your position may be necessary to grow a movement.  

          As long as I have been here, Kos has wanted coalitions to elect Dems and been critical of one-issue voting/movements, at least to the extent they reject coalitions.    

          How do you convince people that your issue, no matter how important, is more important than their issue?  Is there a way around that?

           

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          by TomP on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 10:02:22 AM PDT

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          •  very generally (8+ / 0-)

            I'm in favor of coalitions, and I STRONGLY reject the general perception of climate change as an environmental problem to be solved by environmentalists.  To the contrary, climate change can be fairly viewed as an economic problem.

            Our coalition includes climate victims, clean energy capitalists, and the military, as just some examples.

            Do the math. #unfrackCal. @RL_Miller

            by RLMiller on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 10:13:53 AM PDT

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            •  Sorry, don't know your jargon. (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              RLMiller, smartalek, Kevskos
              I STRONGLY reject the general perception of climate change as an environmental problem to be solved by environmentalists.
              Don't know that I said that, but this is a good example of failing to enlarge a coalition.  

              It's an eeconomic problem, it's an enviromental problem, it's a moral disaster, it's a lot of things.  

              But attributing to me a posiiton that "climate change as an environmental problem to be solved by environmentalists" because I used the words "environmental mass movement" is a bit of a stretch.  You know the subtle words and arguments, but I don't.  I said something "wrong."

              In the end, calling it the super-doer only issue that matters or should matter to anyone, does not necessarily persuade many.  

              Those who are out of a job may see that as the biggest economic issues in their life.  Telling them they are wrong probably won't convince them.    

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              by TomP on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 10:20:21 AM PDT

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              •  wasn't trying to attribute words to you... (0+ / 0-)

                just speaking very generally/spouting off philosophy. I think you're saying that labeling climate change an economic problem is just a rebranding and that more needs to be done to convince people out of jobs that they should join in a climate coalition. (But I don't want to put words in your mouth, so let me know if I'm wrong.) I am listening intently and learning.

                Do the math. #unfrackCal. @RL_Miller

                by RLMiller on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 10:38:37 AM PDT

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                •  No, that is not what I am saying. (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  RLMiller, smartalek

                  My point is that you know the "truth" that climate change is important, but not every person shares your view.  Reaching others from that position is not always effective because they may know a different "truth" and believe it with as much fervor.  

                  That is all.  

                  Not talking about rebranding.  

                  Do you think opponents of climate change have been effective?  Now we have many people believing it is a myth, agaisnt all evidence.  There are reasons for that, see, e.g., Big Oil, Big Coal, etc..

                  I do not know the answers.  The problem when one gets deep into an "issue" (I understand this is more than an "issue") is translating that knowledge to one who lacks the depth.  

                  The folks you likely talk to a lot share your views.  Of course, climate change is more improtant than anything else because it means the earth and tremendous damage and death.  Yet, the vast majority do not see it that way.

                  I have no magic answers.  But what may be self-apparent to you is not to everyone.  Otherwise the issue would not exist.    

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                  by TomP on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 10:49:46 AM PDT

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            •  Thanks for the "clean energy capitalist" comment (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              RLMiller

              That actually helps describe my attitude on clean energy. I'm concerned about the environment, of course, but I really see the economic benefits of clean energy, and the problem of local environmental damage as more... pressing in my mind. Solving worldwide climate change is an side benefit to that.

              Leftist Mormon in Utah, Born in Washington State, live in UT-04 (Matheson).

              by Gygaxian on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 11:08:29 AM PDT

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          •  Jumping in where angels fear to tread, I'll hazard (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            TomP, RLMiller, Eric Nelson

            my 2 cents worth: that "Clean Coal", like other such chimeras (I like that word, keep using it!), has been sold so successfully that we should expect a LOT of otherwise level-headed people to believe in it. Not because they're bought and paid for, but because they've been fooled, as have tens of millions of other people.

            I'm willing to give many politicians the benefit of the doubt here, in the limited sense that I'll give them some time so they can be won over from "the Carbon side". Not an indefinite free ride, a limited one.

            Here's where I'd like Al Gore, who frankly has the money to do this, to put out some pointedly targeted material about how "clean coal and natural gas" are lies being sold to us by energy producers; target that material at politicians in a way so they have to respond and cannot claim ignorance any longer.

            Then we can start using this as a make-or-break voting criterion. But until the wave of propaganda about coal gets some real pushback, I hesitate to throw all of the Democrats under the bus who state they believe in clean coal.

            Criticisms anyone?

            •  If there were an election (probably a primary) (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              RLMiller, Eric Nelson

              and one candidate pushed clean coal and the other exposed the lie in it, I'd vote for the latter.

              I think your comment is reasonable.  Coal is on its way out here because of natural gas prices.  There are coal companies in bankruptcy.   I hope China replaces coal with solar over time.

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              by TomP on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 10:28:38 AM PDT

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    •  So.. (8+ / 0-)

      you think any Dem is not worthy of support if they in turn support coal.  Good on pretty much every other progressive priority still not good enough for certain one issue voters.
      Not worth pursuing a reasonable conversation when someone has that mentality.

      •  It's a valid point, although (6+ / 0-)

        I don't agree.  Climate change is very important.  Unfortunately, one-issue arguments, no matter hwo justified, are tactially poor.  Until Montana gets off of coal, their reps will be pro-coal.  So will West Virginai.  Even Obama in Illinois talked about the bs of "clean coal."  The prblem is not Schweitzer as much as it is Montana.  

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        by TomP on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 09:46:27 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Until real re-training, miners need jobs. I grew (7+ / 0-)

          up in coal country--Jackson County,  IL.  The mining county next door, Bloody Williamson, was the most violent coal county after Harlan County, KY.  In the late 1920's, 8 scabs were executed in the woods.

          THERE WERE NO OTHER JOBS.

          The energy industry AND workers both need to transition.

          WORKERS 1ST !!

          Love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we'll change the world..-- Jack Layton

          by sturunner on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 10:08:56 AM PDT

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          •  I know of Bloody (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            sturunner

            Willaimson.  My partner grew up in Franklin County.  Her granfather on her father's side died of black lung.  he mother's father died in a mine cave-in in the late 30s or early 40s.

            There are few coal jobs left.  I think the mine east of Harrisonville (near El Dorado) is still there, but it may be closing.  

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            by TomP on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 10:31:09 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Amen! (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            sturunner

            It's scary how many ostensible progressives either don't give a $#!+ about their fellow citizens, or (to put the best possible gloss on it) are apparently unable to adopt a big-picture viewpoint.
            Not recognizing our responsibilities to our fellow citizens in the here-and-now, along with our responsibilities to the environment and to future generations, is bad policy, and worse politics.
            Thank you for the necessary corrective.

          •  Agreed about retraining. But compare the number... (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            mimi, sturunner

            ...of miners now with 25 years ago. And compare how many of those are underground mining jobs as opposed to heavy machinery operators in western strip-mine operations. The jobs have been dwindling because of mechanization and a switch to the West, with Powder River Basin coal (mostly) in Wyoming  producing more than 40% of the total volume of the nation's coal. The BLM reported in 2011 that the basin contributes 13 percent of total U.S. carbon dioxide emissions when that coal is burned.

            Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

            by Meteor Blades on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 10:53:33 AM PDT

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    •  That's cool; I like to see Republicans instead (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sturunner, smartalek, Gygaxian

      Especially on issues where we can't get non-coal senators to vote against it, let alone senators with large constituencies of coal interests.

      God I hate being a Democrat sometimes. We're our own worst enemies.

      •  "I don't belong to any organized political party, (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        leu2500, yellowdog, betelgeux

        I'm a Democrat."

                  --Will Rodgers

        Love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we'll change the world..-- Jack Layton

        by sturunner on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 10:14:38 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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