The Schwarzenegger-Brown Climate Alliance

schwarzMonday’s L.A. Times gushed over the “bipartisan” gubernatorial legitimacy Governors Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jerry Brown have given efforts to fight climate change in Paris this weekend. The two former governors “sat for a joint interview to put a bipartisan spin on fighting climate change,” showing the world that green-minded Democrats and Republicans can avoid petty bickering and find a middle ground in combating this great issue of our times.

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Here are the juiciest quotes the Times recounts:

“It’s important for people to know that Republicans can work with Democrats and vice versa,” Brown said.

Schwarzenegger added, “That is a very important message for the international community, that they should not look at [climate change] in a political way.”

Bipartisanship for broader goals is all well and good. Of course, the Times doesn’t recount the fact that Schwarzenegger is not, to put it mildly, a typical Republican, and that his participation in “bipartisanship” doesn’t mean much. In fact, on the climate change issue in particular, he arguably toes the liberal line with crossed t’s and dotted i’s. It’s perhaps a little bit ironic that a self-described Rockefeller Republican like myself should accuse a fellow Republican of being a “Republican In Name Only,” but on climate change, because of his joining hands with the green-and-blue liberal policy elite on cap-and-trade, renewables, and other fashionable green boondoggles, it’s hard to categorize Schwarzenegger as anything other than a post-partisan Donkey in Elephants’ clothing.

In an excellent article for the excellent journal National Affairs (read the whole thing) Troy Senik nicely outlines the self-imposed fate of the once-maverick Governor:

“[H]e began marshaling his political capital in the service of nationally fashionable issues like greenhouse-gas reductions. … [I]t began to feel suspiciously like Schwarzenegger was concerned more with buttering up the national media and the Beverly Hills cocktail circuit than actually forging an agenda to pull California back from the abyss.”

So the notion that the Schwarzenegger-Brown stand is anything like meaningful bipartisanship is, by all significant measures, bunk. Most Republicans, moderate or conservative, will rightfully oppose the anti-growth measures that modern environmentalism requires in the crusade against climate change.

Rather than joining hands with fashionable elites in pursuing self-defeating policies that aren’t likely to put much of a dent in carbon emissions, Republicans should live up to their tradition of conservation and environmental stewardship by living up to another one of their great traditions — innovation. Instead of fighting climate change by arbitrarily restricting carbon emissions and pumping money into zero-emissions, zero-results “renewable” sources, Republicans should pursue a climate strategy with what has worked empirically- high-energy, low-emission fuels like natural gas as substitutes for high-emission fuels like crude oil and coal. Peter Wehner and Jim Manzi argued for such a strategy in another article at National Affairs, and their middle ground makes for much more practical policy than either ultra-conservative denials of climate science or mainline liberal worship of cap-and-trade and solar energy.

As Joel Kotkin argues, the Paris climate talks aren’t likely to result in much more than self-righteous gabbing by the elite classes of developed nations, to the detriment of the lower classes of said nations. Developing countries like China and India, by far the largest carbon emitters, are unlikely to shackle their growth to the whims of Western experts and activists. So in the end, Schwarzenegger and Brown’s united stand against climate change will do much for their consciences and little for the climate or the struggling. It remains for another generation of pragmatic politicos to tend to this truly pressing problem. Let’s hope the glittering promise of accolades for “bipartisanship” doesn’t take precedence over reality for them.

esearch associate for the Center for Opportunity Urbanism and Senior Correspondent at Glimpse From the Globe.

Originally published by Fox and Hounds Daily


  1. Two delusional democrats, who just want to keep their names in print, and on the news. Neither has made any significant contributions to mankind. Neither are/were good at makine California Golden again. BOTH do/did more destruction than construction. Now they are pretend scientists. Give me a break.

  2. Two of the worst governors this State has ever had. I defy either of them and delusional Mary Nichols of CARB to give ANY SCIENTIFIC evidence that proves CO2 is a pollutant or that it warms the air to any significant amount. And I’ll ask again and keep asking until I get an answer: Why won’t they conduct a cost/benefit study on their “Green Mandate” as asked repeatedly by the Little Hoover Commission.

  3. Bi-partisan? Anybody delusional enough to believe Arnold Swarzenegger is a Republican is probably also stupid enough to believe in the “climate-change” silliness.

  4. Idiocy is a terrible thing to waste, especially when it is in politics and the facts are so simple:

    CO2 is a “trace gas” in air and is insignificant by definition. It absorbs 1/7th as much IR, heat energy, from sunlight per molecule as water vapor which has 188 times as many molecules capturing 1200 times as much heat producing 99.8% of all “global warming.” CO2 does only 0.2% of it. For this we should destroy our economy, starve the world, cause hunger, riots and wars?

    There is no “greenhouse effect” in an atmosphere. A greenhouse has a solid, clear cover trapping heat. The atmosphere does not trap heat as gas molecules cannot form surfaces to work as greenhouses that admit and reflect energy depending on sun angle. Gases do not form surfaces as their molecules are not in contact.

    The Medieval Warming from 800 AD to 1300 AD Micheal Mann erased for his “hockey stick” was several Fahrenheit degrees warmer than anything “global warmers” fear. It was 500 years of world peace and abundance, longest ever.

    Vostock Ice Core data analysis show CO2 rises followed temperature by 800 years 19 times in 450,000 years. Therefore temperature change is cause and CO2 change is effect. This alone refutes the anthropogenic global warming hypothesis.

    Methane is called “a greenhouse gas 20 to 500 times more potent than CO2,” by Heidi Cullen and Jim Hansen, but it is not per the energy absorption chart at the American Meteorological Society. It has an absorption profile very similar to nitrogen which is classified “transparent” to IR, heat waves and is only present to 18 ppm. “Vegans” blame methane in cow flatulence for global warming in their war against meat consumption.

    Carbon combustion generates 80% of our energy. Control and taxing of carbon would give the elected ruling class more power and money than anything since the Magna Carta of 1215 AD.

    Most scientists and science educators work for tax supported institutions. They are eager to help government raise more money for them and they love being seen as “saving the planet.”

    Read the whole story in “Vapor Tiger” at, Kindle $2.99 including a free Kindle reading program for your computer.

    Google “Two Minute Conservative” for clarity.

  5. DR Richard Muccillo says

    Arnold should stay out of politics –and brown should go to hell

  6. “Morons United For (your) Change”

    Why anyone would give any credence to what either of these two say is beyond me.

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