Red States of Mind Turn Green


Rob Lowe, who portrays Republican Senator Robert McCallister from California who’s campaigning for the Presidency on the ABC-TV show Brothers & Sisters, testified before the real Congress on Capitol Hill last Thursday on behalf of tax credits for plug-in hybrid cars and trucks. His appearance at the special hearing of the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming was followed by a nearby demo of Toyota’s plug-in Prius.

An alternative energy investor for 25 years, Lowe said the “war on terror, where our oil addiction helps fund people that want to kill us” got his attention; adding that his hybrid has “made me a better driver'' than his driving instructor—or mother. (Sorry about my wisecrack, a few blogs back, about the former West Wing speechwriter’s accidental smackdown of a State bird during a charity golf tournie)…

His brother Chad Lowe (Hilary Swank's ex), who directed the Live Earth documentary, Taking America's Temperature, trekking cross-country to gather "man-(and woman)-on-the-street" interviews about global warming, has been bravely hawking it on Fox News…

“Hasta la vista to greenhouse gasses.” That’s what California Republican governator Arnold Schwarzenegger said at the Florida Summit on Global Climate Change, an impressive effort from fellow Republican governor, Charlie Crist, who signed a batch of eco-legislation for the Sunshine State last Friday, including the reduction of carbon emissions and conversion to renewables for vehicles, building and utilities. Another speaker at the conference, NRDC’s RFK, Jr., stated the environment is not a blue state issue. In the face of mounting indisputable evidence, it’s the ultimate conservative action, crossing party lines with a legacy that dates back to President Abraham Lincoln. My favorite headline about the effort: “Crist Almighty”…

Bye Bye Lady Birdie: the “Environmental First Lady,” Lady Bird Johnson, responsible for the Beautification Act of 1965 and the National Wildflower Research Center died last week. She inspired her husband President LBJ to sign 200 laws relevant to the environment, including the 1964 Wilderness Act, the Land and Water Conservation Fund, the Wild and Scenic Rivers Program, and expansion of the National Parks system. When Bruce Babbitt presented Mrs. Johnson with a Lifetime Achievement Award for her Native Plant Conservation Initiative, he referred to her as his "shadow" Secretary of the Interior. If you think the highways are an eyesore today, imagine them without litter laws, even more billboards, junk, and virtually no greenery.  

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