EPA rally in SeattleA crowd gathered in Seattle on May 21 to call for action on climate change. The rally occurred as the EPA held a public hearing in the city on its CO2 endangerment finding.Tom Twigg / Grist

Today is an interesting day in the climate/energy world.

In Seattle, where I am right now (Twittering like crazy!), the EPA is holding a hearing on its endangerment finding. There are about 10 hours of testimony altogether, in 3-minute increments. One after another,  scientists, representatives from NGOs and businesses, artists, politicians, and concerned citizens have taken to the microphone to plead for action on climate change. I’m not sure what I expected, but I’ve been pretty gobsmacked: so many articulate, well-informed, morally passionate people! Citizens, even. It’s downright inspiring.

In Washington, D.C., where Kate is (Twittering like crazy!), the House Energy and Commerce Committee is on Day Four of the Stupid Parade, wherein Republicans offer ridiculous amendment after ridiculous amendment to the Waxman-Markey bill, trying to gum up the proceedings and foster confusion, questioning whether CO2 is harmful (“we breathe it!”). Even on the side of climate action, you’ve got people like Rick Boucher (D-Va.), who last week mangled the bill to make it friendlier to coal, securing the single-largest contributor to climate change billions in public subsidies.

The disjunction — between citizens and politicians, between young people living in the 21st century information age and old men mired in a sclerotic, archaic influence-peddling machine, between those yearning for a clean energy future and those clinging to a dirty past — has never been more stark.

Some day I hope we have a government worthy of its citizenry.