Senator John Thune says we shouldn’t reduce our carbon emissions because other nations won’t reduce their carbon emissions:
Those like U.S. Senator John Thune believe the Obama Administration effort to cap emissions from coal fired power plants is going too far.
“You get very little, minimal if any environmental benefit from the United States doing this when the largest polluters in the world aren’t following suit,” says Thune. “What it’s probably going to do is it’s going export energy production to areas around the world who are a lot less sensitive to and have a lot fewer environmental regulations in place” [Charles Michael Ray, “Thune Decries Carbon Reduction Plan as Arctic Sea Route Opens,” SDPB Radio, 2015.08.05].
It’s hard to find good analogies for our senior Senator’s incredibly bad logic (not to mention mangled syntax—hanging with Rep. Kristi Noem too much?). But let’s try:
- Garbage: John Thune produces lots of garbage, because if he doesn’t, his dirty neighbors will throw all their garbage in his cans.
- Cocktail party: John Thune grabs all three martinis from the waiter’s tray, because the next guy in line is really annoying when he’s drunk.
- Birthday party: John Thune eats five pieces of cake, because the other kids chew with their mouths open.
Senator John Thune’s geopolitical thinking lacks imagination. He pretends to cast American regulatory action in a global context, but he ignores the context of America’s global leadership. If he sees other countries being less sensitive to the environment, the proper response is not to follow suit with our own continued environmental insensitivity. The proper response is to stop trashing our corner of the planet, implement smart energy and environmental policies, then turn to our trashy neighbors and say, “Look at us! We’re using less coal, we’re using more wind and solar, we’re using all energy more efficiently, and we’re in great shape. This is how it’s done. We’ll help you do it.”
We’re America. We’re supposed to lead, not wait for China, India, or Russia to lead us to a cleaner planet. John Thune isn’t showing leadership; he’s making excuses, not just for his corporate fossil-fuel buddies but for all nations to remain locked in a death spiral of unsustainable fuel consumption.
But we all know leadership escapes John Thune.
South Dakota needs a new Senator, one who shows real imagination and leadership, one who believes America can and should solve problems. Let’s reduce carbon emissions, invest in clean energy, and lead the world to a sustainable future.