Source: Changing the dialogue on energy and climate: Bob Inglis at TEDxJacksonville, December 2013.
Bob Inglis is a lifelong conservative Republican who was the U.S. Representative for South Carolina's 4th congressional district from 1993 to 1999 and again from 2005 to 2011. He was unseated in the Republican primary runoff in 2010. He was defeated in a landslide largely because of taking very unpopular positions with his Republican constituents, primarily that climate change is real and supporting a revenue carbon tax as a solution.
Bob is currently the Executive Director of republicEn, a grassroots advocacy group of conservatives, libertarians, and pragmatists promoting free-enterprise solutions to climate change.
Since his 2010 primary defeat, Bob Inglis has traveled extensively across the United States to give talks how to reach out to conservatives reluctant to accept climate change. Even more, Inglis regularly engages with conservative audiences when he travels and in his home state of South Carolina. He tries to convince them that climate change is real and show them market-based conservative solutions.
In this TEDx talk, Inglis shared his personal story. He went from rejecting the science of climate change in the 1990s because of his political worldview to evolving to accept it. He believes the solution lies in the bedrock principals of conservatism, such as his republicEn proposal of Environmental Tax Reform, which is a revenue neural carbon tax.
Bob believes strongly that a conservative free enterprise solution will inspire conservatives to join the effort to reduce the threat of climate change. He then ends this TEDx talk, with this plea to liberals and progressives:
“All this takes is conservatives joining this effort. I must say to you if you are a progressive: Behold in them your indispensable partners for action. It will not happen without them.
There are not enough votes in Congress to ram this through. There were not enough votes for Waxman-Markey (in 2009) and there are not enough votes on the left. Somehow we have to convince conservatives, the champions of free enterprise, that this fits with something that they deeply believe and then join all together and make it so that we solve this problem.”
This is excellent advice from Bob Inglis that progressive climate advocates must reach out to reluctant conservatives with market-based solutions, such as Citizens’ Climate Lobby’s carbon fee and dividend proposal.
Image Source: Brian Ettling (on right side) pictured with his dad, LeRoy Ettling, a conservative who was doubtful of human caused climate change 10 years ago. Through his climate activism, Brian was able to convince his dad that climate change is real and we must take action now.