I’ve been thinking for a while about how to respond to this interview with Newt Gingrich, but to be honest, Gingrich’s sociopathic dishonesty fills me with such revulsion that I am rendered inarticulate. I guess that makes me a failure as a blogger.

The one thing I’d say is: the move here is to jump from oil shale and coal and other carbon-intensive fuels to “reducing the carbon loading of the atmosphere” via frenzied handwaving at technology. It is, quite literally, hope as a strategy.

Okay, two things. The big innovation here for conservatives is, as Gingrich says flat out, to abandon any rhetorical fealty to laissez faire economics. Not in favor of regulation, mind you — he explicitly renounces regulation or anything mandatory — but in favor of “incentives,” i.e., pork. The right has long been pro-business rather than pro-market; Gingrich’s brilliant breakthrough is just to brazenly embrace that position.

So that’s the fancy new green conservatism: hand out public money to powerful energy corporations and hope for the best. You comfortable betting the future of the planet on that strategy?

Grist thanks its sponsors. Become one.