This morning on KFQD 750 AM’s Bernadette and Berkowitz radio show, Republican U.S. Senate Candidate Joe Miller monopolized the attempted conversation in an effort to contrast himself from his Republican opponents. Miller’s incessancy to distinguish him from his Primary Election adversaries, particularly with the claim he lacks rhetoric or political spin, has had the opposite effect.
Joe Miller, in fact, is full of rhetoric.
Science and Reality
Joe Miller doesn’t disagree with Mead Treadwell or Dan Sullivan that the science on climate change is inclusive. Yet Miller continues to promote falsities about Treadwell and Sullivan by suggesting they are “climate change alarmists” and embracing “dubious scientific claims.” (May 17, 2014 article on Miller’s blogsite).
Miller’s demagoguery of science is unconstructive in solving the problems of pollution and society’s amalgamation to changing weather patterns, no matter the cause. The reality is that Treadwell and Sullivan oppose a carbon tax, which is levied on the carbon content of fuels (carbon is present in every hydrocarbon fuel – such as coal, petroleum, natural gas). Treadwell and Sullivan are also opposed to cap-and-trade, which is an environmental policy tool used to yield results based on a mandatory cap on emissions. Further, it’s unclear, as Miller alleges, where Treadwell and Sullivan have supported a “man-made global warming agenda” or “top-down federal regulation” relating to climate policy. Miller’s claims are erroneous of his two opponents in these contexts, and his weaving of the term “liberty” in the narrative makes no sense. It’s rhetoric and misapplied.
Joe Miller needs to recognize, as former Commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard Admiral Robert Papp Jr. stated to the U.S. Senate’s Subcommittee on Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries and Coast Guard (chaired by U.S. Senator Mark Begich) on August 12, 2011: “The recession of the ice age continues to open new water in the summer months. While there is less ice and more water, the unpredictable movement of existing ice flows and uncharted waters beneath a previously frozen sea could present risks to ships that venture into these waters.” On July 16th President Obama selected Admiral Papp to serve as the United States’ special representative for the Arctic. Papp will be the U.S.’s top-level envoy for Arctic issues affecting our nation.
Alaska’s Arctic region is changing, primarily because of a warming of our climate. It’s fact, not hyperbole. While former U.S. Senator Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) recently endorsed Joe Miller, recall DeMint was one of the few U.S. senators opposed to establishing policies that will afford the U.S. – and particularly Alaska, a seat at the Arctic policy table. This is a policy arena in which Mead Treadwell has the most expertise and leadership. This policy collective includes deepwater ports, ice breakers and enhanced Coast Guard patrols and presence. Miller has neither expertise nor credible insight on Arctic policy, only rhetoric.
Miller has also spoken the least about alternative energy options. While Treadwell and Sullivan have embraced and recognized wind, solar, hydro and tidal, and other forms of Earth-powered energy sources and uses in places like the Northwest Arctic Borough, Cook Inlet and Kodiak, Miller often evades the dialogue on renewables. From the continued leak of nuclear waste into the Pacific Ocean at Japan’s Fukushima Plant to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, Miller should take note and seek remedies and alternatives or he won’t be representing Alaskan’s interests, particularly in the huge seafood and fishing industry. [A Gyre is a naturally occurring vortex of wind and currents rotating in our two hemispheres; five major Gyres are in the oceans worldwide and the Northern Pacific Gyre – the Great Pacific Garbage Patch – has an estimated 11 million tons of floating plastics over 5 million square miles.]
Alaskans need federal representation that embraces good science and real science. Ice has been melting long before the internal combustion engine, and yet – it’s still melting – and the Arctic is still warming. Humanity needs to address the current environmental weather cycle. It’s not a partisan issue, but rather societal. Alaskan communities and economies depend on policymaking champions who are proactive and reasonable. Joe Miller has a bag full of one-liners and finger-pointing claims against his opponents, but it is Treadwell who has been the Arctic policy champion and Sullivan who served as an attorney general and Natural Resources commissioner. Miller has no tangible record in this arena, nor scientific training in the field, to impugn his opponents.
When it comes to responsible and Alaskan-centric environmental and Arctic policies, Mead Treadwell and Dan Sullivan have the more rational approach. Better yet, they respect others’ opinions absent offensive attacks that Miller displayed this morning on air.
Can you even imagine going to Washington DC to visit a “Senator Joe Miller” and his reaction if you had any other opinion but his own regarding the plethora of science and climate and environmental issues? Open mindedness and courtesy matter in leadership and diplomacy.
Joe Miller’s consternation of rhetoric is ironically shrouded by his own pomposity, especially when it comes to the environment and Alaskan solutions vs. placing blame and assigning culpability.