No more waiting at the stop sign. It’s time to get moving!Photo courtesy of katiecampbell via flickr
We now know the U.S. Senate will not pass climate-change legislation this year. Postmortems have pointed to a number of challenges: the lack of leadership from the White House, unified GOP opposition to the Senate cap-and-trade bill, the structure and rules of the Senate, and the complicated nature of cap-and-trade legislation.
There has been one major omission in much of this analysis: the absence of pressure from Americans across the country demanding that serious action be taken to address climate change. Few Americans are currently engaged in this great societal challenge in a way that would generate the necessary political will to act. It is the absence of this public pressure, above all else, that has resulted in the current state of political inaction.
Take the most broadly transformational political acts in the history of the U.S. — the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation and the approval of the 14th Amendment in the 1860s, women’s suffrage in 1920, the Civil Rights Act and Voting Rights Act of the mid-1960s, the establishment o... Read more