Today is primary day, and there’s a lot of chatter out there about the role of climate change (the political issue, not the actual happening) in mid-term elections that the media is saying could bring a Republican tidal wave to Washington. The basic message is that Republicans are riding a wave of increasing doubt about climate change (particularly among political conservatives) and embracing climate denialism, possibly as yet another way to work the anti-establishment outsider angle.
Massachusetts is no exception. In fact, the whole anti-establishment outsider strategy has been coined the ‘Scott Brown effect’ after the Republican who took over Ted Kennedy’s U.S. Senate seat earlier this year by shifting to a more conservative platform and running against the former Kennedy’s key agenda items. And issues of climate change and renewable energy dominated the first major gubernatorial debate. Treasurer and auditor are the only statewide races on the ballots today, but primaries in the race for the 10th Congressional District (South Shore, Cape and Islands) seat in the U.S. House of Representatives are expected to be hotly contested.
On environmental issues, the major distinction here is Keating-O’Leary-Republicans. Bill Keating (D) is the only candidate to support the Cape Wind offshore energy project, and touts this fact as an indication of his commitment to alternative energy and a green economy. Rob O’Leary (D) has opposed Cape Wind, but supports cap-and-trade and also promotes green energy creation. Both say they recognize the daily impacts and future threats of climate change. Differences between the Republican candidates are subtle. All four oppose Cape Wind, oppose cap-and-trade, and promote “common-sense conservation” and the “responsible” development of alternative energy.
Of course, climate change isn’t the only issue. For more information, check out this Q&A from Wicked Local, and election coverage from WCAI and CapeCodOnline. As I said, these races are expected to be tight. Check in tomorrow for results.