It’s 2009. Democratic majorities have expanded in the House and become filibuster-proof in the Senate. Astride the executive branch stands the only American ever to win a Nobel Peace Price prior to being elected president: Al Gore. The star of 2006’s Academy Award-winning documentary "An Inconvenient Truth" is known the world over as a prophet on the subject of global warming. (Vice President Barack Obama boasts merely a Grammy.)

Gore and Obama won the race with a simple two-part message. They promised to draw down American forces from Iraq and Iran and leave behind no permanent bases. And they promised New Strength: a domestic renewal program driven by investment in clean energy infrastructure, a stiff tax on carbon, and a national crash program of energy efficiency and conservation.

That’s the beginning of my latest piece on Tom Paine: "Going for Broke on Climate Change." Read the rest for a discussion of the current state of play in climate politics.

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