Monday, October 11, 2010

Death of a climate bill

"Many of them believe that Obama made an epic blunder by not pursuing climate change first when he was sworn into office. The stimulus failed to reduce unemployment to an acceptable level. The health-care law, while significant, only raised the percentage of people with insurance from eighty-five per cent to ninety-five per cent. Meanwhile, the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is already above the level that scientists say risks causing runaway global warming. According to the argument, Obama was correct when he said during the campaign that placing a price on carbon in order to transform the economy and begin the process of halting climate change was his more pressing priority."

- Ryan Lizza, "As the world burns", The New Yorker, 11th October 2010.

I discussed the various reasons for the failure of the US Senate to even vote on a climate bill back here. This piece is a lengthy article putting together a blow-by-blow account of just how close such legislation came and the forces that held things back. It's not short and reading it isn't likely to make anyone's day happier, but it's important to understand why legislators are failing so tragically on this issue.