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For a Global Warming Bill, Wait Til 2009

The IntersectionBy Chris MooneyJanuary 18, 2008 7:11 PM


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So...there is talk that Lieberman-Warner will be coming up again soon in the Senate, which kinda baffles me. There are a whole host of reasons why it would be far better to have a climate change bill pass Congress in 2009, rather than during this election year. In my latest Daily Green column, I rattle off a few of them:

The politics of this issue are changing rapidly and dramatically, expanding the sphere of what's possible - and you can bet that by 2009, an even stronger bill will be able to pass. Between now and then, after all, we are probably going to just get worse and worse news from the climate system, and the sense of alarm and the need for action will only increase. Meanwhile, we currently have a president who is intransigent on climate change; but in 2009, in all likelihood, we will have a president who wants to lead on the subject, and who can bring all of the considerable resources of the federal government to bear in enacting change. Indeed, we'll have a president who can put in place an entire government dedicated to greenhouse action - implementing a cap-and-trade regulatory regime to cut emissions, preparing climate change adaptation measures, investing in new energy technologies - the works. And there's still another consideration. Dealing with global warming requires a two-pronged approach, encompassing both domestic action and international action. The latter will not occur until late 2009 at the earliest, when the successor to the Kyoto Protocol will be negotiated in Copenhagen. Ideally, the United States should go into those negotiations with the momentum generated by a president's whipping all of the country, including Congress and the federal government, into climate action; securing a political victory' and then taking the precedent set domestically abroad so that the entire world then falls behind the United States - including India and China.

So, let's elect the right president now, and let that president lead on climate change--rather than trying to ram something through with Bush still in Washington.

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