Why Clinton (and Not Gore) Should Lead on Climate

First of all, Bill Clinton knew how to win the big prize (twice). He also knew how to let his adversaries beat themselves. (Think Gingrich.) True, Clinton was his own worst enemy, as the Monica episode demonstrated. But there’s no disputing his “intellectual and tactical nimbleness,” which Joe Klein wrote about in this 2003 Time column.

So the climate concerned community might want to think about Bubba’s recent advice on how to win the climate battle.

7 Responses to “Why Clinton (and Not Gore) Should Lead on Climate”

  1. Roddy Campbell says:

    ‘…global inaction stems from the most industrialized, most polluting countries. Primarily, that’d be the U.S.’
    I never understand that.  Is it that the US is just US-centric?
    2008 figures from Wikipedia, % of global CO2 emissions:
    China  23.3%, USA 18.1%
    China and India together are more or less the same as USA + EU, in 2008, and of course growing far faster.
    US CO2 emissions per capita have fallen in the last 40 years.  China’s have risen over 5 times, and continue to rise, ditto India.  India’s need to quadruple to match China’s. (source World Bank)
    China’s per capita have doubled since Kyoto, India’s risen by 40%, the US has fallen. (up to 2007, source World Bank).

  2. Nullius in Verba says:

    What actually was Bubba’s advice? According to the article, he said to tell people addressing climate change isn’t a burden, it’s an opportunity – which reminds me of the positive-thinking management fad for asserting that there are no problems, only opportunities – and later, says the same thing, but with the word “economic” inserted. Oh, and he praises a scheme for spending hundreds of millions in taxpayers money planting trees in Mexico of all places, 74% of which immediately died in the local climate, and most of the rest were soon dying.
    Was that it?
    OK, so how does he propose we persuade people that it’s not a burden, it’s an opportunity? (Like the poor Mexican tax payers, for instance?) It would be an impressive argument, if he can do it.
    (And does it really help to appear on stage with people telling us how Bangladesh is going to be flooded by a 1 m sea level rise? I mean, I know he can’t be blamed for what other people say, but still, surely it doesn’t help the message to be associated with it?)

  3. Tom Fuller says:

    Highly doubt that the big dog would let himself get trapped into cleaning up after Gore’s mess, but if he did, it would be a huge win for the consensus side. Probably decisive. Everybody else is a slow number 2 compared to him, and we won’t see his like again soon, which will probably please as many people as it saddens.

  4. Alexander Harvey says:

    In the report Clinton finishes on:
    “If you want it to work in Mali, people have to imagine how they can be a part of this.”
    Good question.
    How do we (he doesn’t say they) imagine they can be a part of this?
    Can we export, (ahem even out) the burden and the opportunities and would they be thankful for that. Africa’s power, transport and general economic infrastructure will not build itself and is there for the taking by the imaginative.
    As things stand, I would hope that Africa has the potential for being the straw that breaks the camel’s back. I mean that it will have a couple of billion or so inhabitants living in the sort of post WWII luxury of my youth and that requires energy, lots of it, perhaps similar to the rates consumed worldwide that have got us worrying about their effects.
    Can we imagine how we are going to play the end game, the era post 2050, and see how we can all find something preemptive and of mutual benefit in investment in Mali and elsewhere?

  5. Steve E says:

    Let’s face it, even the right grudgingly loves Bill. I think Tom #3 is right.

  6. Bill says:

    Well I have allways quite liked Clinton, but I dont agree with Tom. How much effect has the Clinton Climate Initiative ever had in cooling the atmosphere? How much effect will it ever have?

    People might vote for Clinton if it meant spending a few billion planting trees, (even if all the trees died). At least that makes middle class voters feel good. But people wont support spending trillions planting trees, if that means a return to nineteenth century living standards.

  7. Howard says:

    Well Keith, the low-level talent of Mr. Gore is best suited to decry the comfort of the gentle warming climate feature.
    The great abilities of Bill Clinton should focus on real problems.

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