Indiana and climate change

January 22, 2010
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A report yesterday about Americans’ attitudes on environmental issues by an influential Republican pollster is getting attention in liberal circles, but conservatives have been largely silent. In any event, the findings could create ramifications for Indiana, a smokestack state if ever there was one.

Frank Luntz, who early in the past decade counseled Republicans to play up the lack of scientific consensus on global warming, now is telling the party to get on the green bandwagon—but by using pro-growth terminology.

Most Americans believe the climate is warming and that something needs to be done, even if the entire scientific community is not marching in lockstep on the issue, Luntz said. Republicans, by the way, are thinking along the same lines as Democrats, he said.

Americans are more concerned about lessening the nation’s dependence on foreign oil and cutting back on pollution than they are about polar bears and melting glaciers, his polling found. Americans also don’t want to see environmentally friendly industries migrate to other countries.

Predictably, Republican respondents were more worried about the economic and national security issue of ending dependence on foreign oil, and Democrats were more concerned about environmental considerations.

Still, Luntz reminded, the public wants action.

The report is here. Read a take from the political left here.

Luntz advised politicians to get out in front of the issue by appealing to economic benefits of an improved environment. Talk about cleaner air instead of climate change. Also about national security and sustainable jobs.

If the report helps nudge environmental legislation ahead, Indiana on the one hand could benefit from the wind turbine and lithium battery production that’s flocking here. On the other hand, the steelmakers who dominate Northwestern Indiana and the numerous manufacturers populating the state as a whole could easily be hurt.

What are your thoughts? Has Indiana done enough to take advantage of the green movement?
 

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  • climate change
    It's about time Repubs opened their eyes to what is obvious to anyone who has looked at time-sequenced photos of the Arctic & Himalayan regions, regardless of the science. If Repubs push renewable energy industries and Dems push green issues, we will all benefit. namaste
  • Global Warming
    I predict global warming over the next several months. I mean climate change. Sorry, global warming is so 2008.
  • not
    cap and trade is not the answer.
  • the plot thickens
    Read Thomas Friedman's Hot, Flat and Crowded!
  • Global cooling
    In a few months, the southern half of the world will experience Global cooling while the northern half will experience Global warming. lol.

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  1. Apologies for the wall of text. I promise I had this nicely formatted in paragraphs in Notepad before pasting here.

  2. I believe that is incorrect Sir, the people's tax-dollars are NOT paying for the companies investment. Without the tax-break the company would be paying an ADDITIONAL $11.1 million in taxes ON TOP of their $22.5 Million investment (Building + IT), for a total of $33.6M or a 50% tax rate. Also, the article does not specify what the total taxes were BEFORE the break. Usually such a corporate tax-break is a 'discount' not a 100% wavier of tax obligations. For sake of example lets say the original taxes added up to $30M over 10 years. $12.5M, New Building $10.0M, IT infrastructure $30.0M, Total Taxes (Example Number) == $52.5M ININ's Cost - $1.8M /10 years, Tax Break (Building) - $0.75M /10 years, Tax Break (IT Infrastructure) - $8.6M /2 years, Tax Breaks (against Hiring Commitment: 430 new jobs /2 years) == 11.5M Possible tax breaks. ININ TOTAL COST: $41M Even if you assume a 100% break, change the '30.0M' to '11.5M' and you can see the Company will be paying a minimum of $22.5, out-of-pocket for their capital-investment - NOT the tax-payers. Also note, much of this money is being spent locally in Indiana and it is creating 430 jobs in your city. I admit I'm a little unclear which tax-breaks are allocated to exactly which expenses. Clearly this is all oversimplified but I think we have both made our points! :) Sorry for the long post.

  3. Clearly, there is a lack of a basic understanding of economics. It is not up to the company to decide what to pay its workers. If companies were able to decide how much to pay their workers then why wouldn't they pay everyone minimum wage? Why choose to pay $10 or $14 when they could pay $7? The answer is that companies DO NOT decide how much to pay workers. It is the market that dictates what a worker is worth and how much they should get paid. If Lowe's chooses to pay a call center worker $7 an hour it will not be able to hire anyone for the job, because all those people will work for someone else paying the market rate of $10-$14 an hour. This forces Lowes to pay its workers that much. Not because it wants to pay them that much out of the goodness of their heart, but because it has to pay them that much in order to stay competitive and attract good workers.

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  5. It is sad to see these races not have a full attendance. The Indy Car races are so much more exciting than Nascar. It seems to me the commenters here are still a little upset with Tony George from a move he made 20 years ago. It was his decision to make, not yours. He lost his position over it. But I believe the problem in all pro sports is the escalating price of admission. In todays economy, people have to pay much more for food and gas. The average fan cannot attend many events anymore. It's gotten priced out of most peoples budgets.

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