The day after George W Bush gave a speech on climate change that has been panned by all serious reviewers (e.g., diplomats and scientists), The Washington Post did something it is doing too rarely nowadays: it published an OPED by someone who actually knows something about the subject matter: Bill McKibben.
The Race Against Warming begins
It’s the oldest and most cliched of metaphors, but when it comes to global warming, it’s the only one that really works: We’re in a desperate race. Politics is chasing reality, and the gap between them isn’t closing nearly fast enough.
McKibben reviews the science and the “news from the real world” …
Shaken scientists see every prediction about the future surpassed by events.
McKibben turns the DC political seen, noting that “such news has finally begun to penetrate the bubble of denial that has surrounded Washington” noting that even George the W is acknowledging that humanity has a hand in Global Warming (and that such warming is occurring).
He points to the start of legislative activity re CO2, remember that Elections have consequences!,
One consequence: that there is serious consideration of Global Warming related legislation but there is real reason for concern.
The Democratic majority is finally beginning to move legislation that would commit the United States to long-term reductions in carbon dioxide emissions — the first law Congress might actually pass in the years since global warming became an issue. But here, too, the legislative process is backing away from what science demands — a strong bill put forward by Sens. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) is in danger of being supplanted by half-measures proposed by Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.).
By the way, Joe Lieberman is not an “I” but “CFL”, Connecticutt for Lieberman. But putting that aside, Lieberman-Warner might hand away polluting credits for private (rather than public) benefit, set targets too low (70% by 2050), and not start aggressively enough.
Well, what next?
McKibben states: “the only real hope is for decisive legislation from Congress”. And, while there are reasons to be concerned, we have to hope that this is not a vain hope.
The problem lies in how one defines reality. Physics and chemistry demand swift and deep cuts in carbon emissions; political realism says to move slowly. In that fight, there’s really only one choice. The tax code can be amended, but the laws of nature can’t.
“The laws of nature can’t be amended,” not even by those who rely on “sound science”.
Bill is calling for activism and for action. It is time to step up to the plate. There are many chances for action and Bill is a leader/participant in many. An important one, StepItUp … 3 November 2007 … a year from the elections that will set the course for the world’s future … call on your leaders and those seeking to lead to join you and 10,000s of other Americans in calling attention to the need for serious and rapid action to turn the tide on Global Warming’s rising tides.