BLW: Disastrous Legislation or simply Disastrous Politics?

With each read, with each detailed understood, the Boxer-Lieberman-Warner Climate InSecurity Act (BLW CiSA) seems ever more questionable on climate policy terms and, in addition, on basic politics.  Last fall, Friends of the Earth (FOE) launched their Fix It or Ditch It campaign, seeking to develop momentum for the Lieberman-Warner Climate Security Act to be transformed into effective climate legislation or else to be ditched so that better legislation could be developed and passed with the cooperation of the next Administration.

In the intervening time between passage of the bill from committee and Senator Boxer’s Manager’s Amendment, George W Bush gave a speech with absurd concepts about Global Warming that would doom the globe to catastrophic climate change.  Sadly, emerging analysis about implications of the evolved BLW CiSA suggest that the bill is far close to Bush’s disastrous concepts than anything resembling reasonable climate legislation.

To a great extent, FOE has fought a lonely campaign as many other environmental organizations have stood up in public to voice support for having a debate over Global Warming legislation and, even, staking strong positions in passing Lieberman-Warner even if it falls far short of the very scientific guidelines for climate legislation that these organizations clearly understand and claim to support.  The inadequacies, however, are far worse than has been generally discussed and understood.

Far …

Worse …

New analysis suggests that it is quite possible (if not probable) that the BLW CISA would not cut US CO2 emissions until after 2025.  This is not as disastrously bad as Bush’s laughable (despicable) concept of voluntary constraints for ending the growth of US emissions by 2025, but it is disastrously close to it.

Rather than the claimed (and inadequate) reduction of emissions by 20 percent from today’s levels by 2020, the BLW’s offset provisions and cost-containment measures would enable pushing off (ANY) reductions until almost two decades from now.  

If enacted into law, BLW would almost certainly doom us to catastrophic climate change.

Joe Romm has argued that every Senator concerned about Global Warming should vote for the measure next week due to the confusing framing and message situation.  He suggests that these Senators should give a floor statement about the CiSA’s inadequacies before then voting for it to put on the record their support of climate change action in the face of recklessly deceptive campaigning by the National Association of Manufacturers, the US Chamber of Commerce, polluting industries, and others against the bill.  He argues that voting against the bill due to its weaknesses in dealing with Global Warming will be confusing to the media and thus confuse the message to the general public.  He is quite likely right. That is, Romm is likely right if the bill is brought to the Senate floor next week.

The real message, however, is different.

Enough is enough.

It is time for us (US) to speak up loudly.

It is time for the Senate leadership to lead.

It is time for Senator Barbara Boxer to openly recognize the disaster that the compromising process has created. 

Moving the bill to the floor for debate and votes has become extremely counterproductive. 

This is bad legislation, that it is inadequate in the face of the challenges that we face, and that should not become law. By bringing it to the Senate floor and using it for test votes this will create a baseline for next year’s arguments about Climate Change legislation that is a recklessly dangerous baseline.  

And, again, it is simply bad politics as Senate Democrats are likely to be standing up and praising Joe Lieberman for “leadership” in this arena at the very same time that Joe Lieberman is openly twisting a jagged knife in the back of the Democratic Party. 


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