California's Proposition 23 seeks to "suspend" AB32, California's landmark global warming law, until
the Twelfth of Never unemployment reaches 5.5% for four quarters. Proposition 23's money is coming almost exclusively from out of state oil interests such as Valero Energy, Tesoro Energy, and Koch Industries. As a proxy for a national climate fight, the initiative is drawing national attention. A Koch-funded astroturf group, Americans for Prosperity, calls Proposition 23 our highest priority.
Officially, Proposition 23 is the product of Dan Logue, a Republican member of the state assembly. Logue thinks global warming could be a scam. At a debate last week, he sidestepped questions whether global warming is caused by humans, then noted that he has a book where 31,000 scientists say climate change is not caused by humans. (This is probably a reference to the infamous Oregon Petition allegedly signed by 31,000
trained monkeys climate scientists who deny science.) He doesn't know of one person who died of carbon emissions -- and who do you believe, him or the American Lung Association?
Stupid went viral and infected Logue. He's one of the climate zombies of the new GOP -- Republicans who deny climate science. He's also a back-bencher who will have very little impact on California politics if Proposition 23 fails. Far more high-profile is fellow climate zombie Carly Fiorina.
Not sure whether Fiorina is a climate zombie? Listen:
As a true climate zombie, Fiorina flaunts her corporate ties. Koch is one of two corporate sponsors of a fundraiser tomorrow night. (The other is a plastic surgeons' PAC -- no misogynistic/ageist jokes, please.) All it takes to join her at an exclusive sponsor/host VIP reception is $5,000. A certain amount of avarice-fueled stupid won't hurt.
All eyes now turn to Meg Whitman, who would have signed AB32 in 2006, but would veto AB32 in 2010 -- nothing like a little decisiveness in a chief executive, eh? Will she join Republicans like Arnold Schwarzenegger, George Shultz, and San Diego City Mayor Jerry Sanders, or Republicans like Sharron Angle and Christine O'Donnell? Will she side with Texas oil businesses or the big businesses defending California's climate regulations?
Governors, Senators, and low-level state legislators may come and go, but the effects of Proposition 23 -- whether it passes or fails -- will echo in California and the nation for years. Our choice is stark: build the clean technology future or burn the planet, leaving it fit for habitation only by the undead.
Full disclosure: as an unpaid volunteer, I wrote the No on Prop 23 for the California Democratic Party's cool new website. All opinions are my own.