Bill McKibben has a clarion call of an op-ed in yesterday’s Washington Post. The reality of climate change is moving much more quickly than politics:
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.).
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 only real hope is for decisive legislation from Congress; activists are calling for a law that commits the United States to early cuts, closes all coal-fired power plants and auctions the right to pollute so that we can raise the revenue to fund the transformation of our energy system.
Like the man says: "Global warming has a huge head start; the sprint to catch up is the story of our time."
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