Monday, July 27, 2009

If She Is Tracy Flick You Must Be Pinocchio.

Mark Hemingway’s piece at the National Review Online attempts to criticize the Green the Capitol Initiative but his arguments are ill formed, demeaning and distorted. The initiative is an effort to transform the U.S. Capitol into carbon neutral building. Becoming the first carbon neutral legislature in the world.

In his criticism Hemingway finds it necessary to belittle Allison Rogers, a graduate of Harvard University, because she happened to be Miss Rhode Island 2006. Hemingway writes:
“This is all overseen by the House’s Green the Capitol office, which is staffed mostly by eager young Ivy League grads billing themselves as “sustainability experts,” according to one of the business cards being handed out. The most notable member of the Green the Capitol office is one Allison Rogers. Ms. Rogers does her darnedest to appear thoroughly businesslike in her official portrait, but the Harvard grad is probably best known for an extracurricular achievement: Miss Rhode Island 2006.

It seems only natural that climate change is the 21st-century equivalent of “world peace” among the pageant set. Rogers used her reign to promote global-warming awareness. As a beauty queen, she made a point of walking the entire length of every parade she appeared in, because riding in the back of convertibles isn’t terribly fuel efficient.”
I looked back through Hemingway’s past pieces and was unable to find any reference to Sarah Palin’s beauty pageant past. So I am left wondering if beauty queens of progressive ideas can be less professional or as serious as those of the right.

Rogers has a degree in religious studies from Harvard according to Hemingway her conservation efforts are a dogmatic effort. Hemmingway further demeans Rogers as he refers to as a “non-fiction version of Tracy Flick.” This is an unnecessary jab that he does not explain. To what is it that Hemmingway thinks Rogers believes she is entitled? Other women in politics, government or activism have been labeled as Tracy Flick but none as undeserved as Rogers. Hemingway, again, never labeled Palin as Ms. Flick and her entitled attitude is legendary. How dare anyone question Gov. Palin’s qualifications or ask her questions and expect an answer. Hemingway never dared.

To get away from Hemingway’s obsession with degrading Roger, he literally goes on for two-thirds of his column talking about Rogers once calling her and people involved in the green effort a “precocious child demanding that the neighborhood association fine Mom and Dad for violating the housing development’s codes, covenants, and restrictions.”

The critique that the House of Representatives “isn’t paying for all these changes — American taxpayers are” displays a silliness that I am sure Hemingway would correct upon further thought. The House does not have funds that do not come from taxpayers.

Finally the easiest lie to prove and most credulous. Hemingway writes:
“In fact, getting any sort of cost-benefit analysis out of Green the Capitol is difficult at best...But if you do some digging on the site you can download the report submitted to Congress giving the details of the initiative. Buried 30 pages into the 60-page report is this pertinent information: In 2006, the House’s energy costs amounted to $15 million. In 2008, after the implementation of Green the Capitol, the House was spending over $20 million. The program claims that by 2017 it will have reduced the House’s energy use by over 50 percent, resulting in a significant annual savings.”
Hemingway is correct that a cost benefit analysis is not to be found but the report the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure is found on the page that he link to from his essay. I found the report within a minute or two.

I also read through the report. Hemingway may have read the report but either way he is attempting to mislead. Hemingway implies that there was a five million dollar increase in energy between 2006 and 2008 therefore implying that the Green the Capital Initiative was a failure. He is wrong on two points with this argument. First the date of the report to the committee is dated June 21, 2007. Therefore costs are estimates. Second, these costs are estimates. Is it possible to conduct any cost cutting or efficiency exercises without incurring costs? Can Hemingway cut his own energy costs by installing a new furnace without have upfront costs and long-term savings? I don’t think so. Sphere: Related Content

No comments:

Add to Technorati Favorites