post by Bill Gardner
So we've all just decided not to do anything about global warming, right? I just wanna make sure.
The discussion of global warming in the US seems to have disappeared. Why? There appears to be no short-term option for policy action. 1) You cannot pass a bill in the US Senate without 60 votes. 2) You have little possibility of obtaining a necessary Republican vote. 3) An attempt to change policy would certainly lose. 4) Democrats see no purpose in starting a fight they would certainly lose. 5) For better or for worse, the Democratic leadership does not talk about issues on which they will likely lose. 6) So no debate occurs, and it looks like we have agreed not to do anything.
We have to talk about this. We have to take the long view and come to a full understanding of the scientific, economic, and ethical implications of climate change. If the globe is warming, the issue will be back, and we must be clear on what to do. In a certain way, having no policy options on the table is an advantage for a good discussion. Once the partisan battle is engaged, it is hard not to defend the consensus policy of your side.