It was historic. A real tour de force of coalition building for a greener, cleaner future smart leaders around the world are embracing. In Paris Saturday, 195 nations voted to adopt an agreement to limit fossil fuel pollution and set global temperature targets.
There are some leaders, of course, who aren’t very smart about leading on the environment. Ohio’s governor is one of them. On the road Thursday in West Lebanon, New Hampshire, the chronically crusty and perpetually petulant 63-year old state leader offered yet another statement on why he just doesn’t get the importance of climate change, and why that should be a big negative for him becoming the next President of The United States.
Kasich Gives Climate Change The ‘Coal’ Shoulder
A hard-right Republican masquerading as a moderate, Mr. Kasich has reluctantly acknowledged that he believes humans contribute to global warming. His half-hearted concern waxes weak because it doesn’t include recognition that humans are the primary contributors.
“Do I believe there is something called climate change? I do,” he told Iowans in early October, The Huffington Post reported. “Do I think that human beings affect it? I do. How much? Not enough for me to go out and cost somebody their job,” Gov. Kasich said, adding, “I don’t know that that’s why you have flooding. I just don’t know enough about it.”
Leaders who do know enough signed on-to The Paris Agreement, pledging to limit global temperature increases to 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit, though it includes a more-ambitious goal of 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit. Moreover, the deal includes a promise from larger nations to aid developing ones to help them meet the targets, according to reports.
“What should give us hope that this is a turning point, that this is the moment we finally determined we would save our planet, is the fact that our nations share a sense of urgency about this challenge and a growing realization that it is within our power to do something about it,” President Obama said.
Mr. Kasich, a former high-paid Wall Street banker for Lehman Brothers, has a very hard time admitting the role greenhouse gas emissions produce in global warming when fossil fuels are burned.
“Well, again, I don’t know that’s scientifically proven that it’s because we have emissions and that’s what’s happening,” Kasich said. “Let me just stay there before I wade into another controversial area. Uh, but let me just say to you that I think there are things we can do to protect the environment. We should. But we shouldn’t worship the environment.”
Worshiping other issues, like cutting income taxes and disrespecting a woman’s constitutional right to abortion, are part of his record in government, from his 18-years in congress to his five years as Ohio’s top leader. Polling low nationally and in all state contests, Gov. Kasich took Ohio from the front of the pack to the back last year when he froze renewable energy portfolio standards that his predecessor signed into law with bi-partisan help.
It’s basic Kasich to try to be on all sides of an issue so he can’t be pinned down on any one of them. An example, one he’s used before, is to say he supports renewable energy to curb carbon emissions, “but not to the point where we take such drastic action that I put a bunch of people out of work.” John Kasich is no stranger to drastic action when it suits his bitter political agenda, like when he took billions from local governments and schools to give away in income tax cuts that disproportionately benefit the wealthiest.
Gov. Kasich had no problems with putting a bunch of people out of work, including teachers, nurses, police and firefighters, community fabric-professions who were in the cross-hairs of his push for Senate Bill 5 in 2011, which ended badly for him when Ohio voters rolled it back by a wide margin of 2-1.
Showing his true colors, in September in West Lebanon, New Hampshire, Gov. Kasich said he supports the continued use of coal as an energy source. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, almost 70 percent of Ohio’s electricity was produced from coal in 2014. But even Ohio utilities, like American Electric Power, are moving past burning coal to burning natural gas, which is plentiful and clean burning.
“We should dig it, we should clean it, we should burn it,” he said at a forum in the Granite State, The Valley News. reported. The governor who’s the least liked of the Republican candidates running for president, John Kasich and his super pack, New Day For America, has spent millions to promote himself with the promise to spend millions more to, among other goals, damage Donald Trump, casting the league leader as unfit to govern.
“Kasich’s latest admission is further proof that he espouses the same out-of-touch views as the rest of the Republican presidential field,” said Democratic National Committee spokeswoman Kaylie Hanson, The Huffington Post wrote. “Republicans should get it together and join Democrats who are facing the reality of a changing climate and pushing policies that will preserve our planet.”
The Smart Wackadoodle
Ohio’s jokey governor loves to snark at Californians as “wackadoodles,” his label for progressive thinkers and doers. The Buckeye State can learn some lessons from the Golden State’s top wackadoodle, Gov. Jerry Brown, about why he joined other world leaders in Paris last weekend.
In a true contrast of styles, knowledge and vision, California Gov. Jerry Brown, now 77 year sold, was in Paris to join the discussion, The LA Times reported. “Brown’s swing through Paris reflected not only the environmentalism that could be his political legacy, but also his preoccupation with sources of potential catastrophe.” Before departing Paris for home, Gov. Brown, whose father was governor of the Golden State and who was reelected to a second term, told French graduate students, “We have to be able to imagine the horrors that might unfold, and then take steps to prevent it.”
Handing out grades to all presidential candidates, The Associated Press posted scores eight climate and biological scientists gave for the candidates. The news, some expected and some sad, is this: two of the three Democratic presidential candidates are A students, while most of the Republican contenders flunk their environment exam. Among Republicans, Gov. Kasich [47 out of 100] came in third behind Chris Christie [54 out of 100] in second place and Jeb Bush [64 out of 100] in first place.
The Paris Agreement stipulates that at least 55 countries representing 55 percent of the world’s population must ratify before 2020 for it to go into effect.