Members of the Conservative Caucus of Utah’s Legislature spent the fall trying to reopen debate on this so-called “global warming” thing. One book they passed out to fellow lawmakers, Unstoppable Global Warming, is a big leap forward: It turns out the Earth is warming after all, the book says. It’s just that the warming is caused by nature, not car exhaust, isn’t a big deal and can’t be stopped anyway so there is no reason to get all bent out of shape. (One of the book’s authors also has a tract that the Legislature may want to check out about organic food being dangerous.) To inform the state’s future energy policy, lawmakers were given information from a conservative think tank funded by Exxon.
Utah’s governor is lending the “R” behind his name to a campaign to set nationwide limits on global-warming pollution. Appearing in a 30-second television ad with California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer, Jon Huntsman Jr., says, “Its time for Congress to act in capping greenhouse-gas pollution.” Huntsman has signed onto a Western states climate agreement pledging Utah to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions. Similar arrangements have been set up in the Midwest, Northeast, Southwest and the West Coast, but the governors argue a national cap is needed. The $3 million of ads will be shown in states with senators on the U.S. Senate’s environment committee, set in December to consider a law capping the nation’s carbon emissions at 15 percent below 2005 levels.
It’s great to see voters excited to get to the polls, but Ogden’s election fervor is a little too much like old-time Chicago for comfort. With more than 45 percent of city voters turning up at polls, Mayor Matthew Godfrey squeaked out a third term marred by a week of ballot counting and allegations that would-be voters were scared away. Even before the election, Godfrey backers gave poll operators a list of 150 names they claimed weren’t legal city voters, including a member of the City Council who had butted heads with the Godfrey. The mayor said he had nothing to do with the list, though his campaign also challenged some voters. His reelection is sure to mean one thing: four more years of lively politics in Ogden.