Top green stories of the ’00s
YADDA YADDA YADDA
U.S. politicians talk about climate change
While U.S. politicians blithely ignored the environment for most of the last decade (and the last century), the 2008 election marked a visible turning point — in rhetoric, at least. John Edwards got things rolling by adopting a goal of reducing U.S. greenhouse-gas emissions 80 percent by 2050; his Democratic competitors, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, saw his target and raised him 100 percent auctioned pollution allowances. On the Republican side, the most climate-concerned candidate won the primary, and though John McCain didn’t offer up a particularly aggressive (or internally consistent) climate plan, he never backed down from saying climate change was a real problem. Many Democratic Senate candidates put climate action in their platforms. Meanwhile, on the local level, more than 1,000 mayors — Republicans and Democrats — pledged to reduce their cities’ greenhouse-gas emissions. A number of governors put climate plans in place too. Turning all that talk into real action? That’s been put off until the next decade.