What do people think executive orders are for? If a governor wants to affirm some position, he or she can utilize press releases or other methods, so an executive order would seem to indicate, well, an order that the executive issues to direct some new policy affecting decisions under her or his administration.
In that regard, one could reasonably estimate that Democrat Governor Gina Raimondo’s new executive order affirming Rhode Island’s “dedicat[ion] to the Principles of the Paris Climate Agreement” has a net negative effect on the environment, inasmuch as it does absolutely nothing to change state policy but will require the use of paper for printing, the exhalation of carbon dioxide while reading it out loud or talking about it, and the burning of energy (however generated) in the computer resources used to create, transmit, and review it.
No, seriously, it does absolutely nothing new. It does, however, refer to Gina Raimondo via first-person pronouns eight times, and rattle off two-and-a-half pages of pat-yourself-on-the-back “whereas” clauses.
This one, in particular, caught my attention:
WHEREAS, the Narragansett Bay is New England’s largest estuary and attracts 12 million people each year, and is a treasure that must be preserved for future generations of Rhode Islanders
What strikes me about this clause is that the climate alarmists warn that Narragansett Bay will actually expand with global warming. Sure, some habitats will change their nature, but if the size of an estuary is a positive thing, why should we take the reactionary view that nothing should change from its current condition?
Similarly, this clause has a strange tone:
The State shall reaffirm its commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions to 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050, in line with the goals of the Paris Agreement, with the goal of doing our part to hold the increase in global temperatures at or below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.
The insinuation, here, is that global temperatures were more or less steady throughout history until the industrial revolution and that two degrees is significant for some reason. You know, a “whereas” clause or two laying out the specific evidence, rather than Rhode Island government’s fealty to the alarmist agenda, might have been useful in this regard.
The “whereases” have another conspicuous omission, by the way. Not one of them provides any evidence that the trade-off to Rhode Islanders of committing the state to the governor’s goals is worthwhile. That’s because it doesn’t matter to “I, the governor.” What matters is virtue signaling, government’s reach, and politicians’ futures.