Environment

The Agony of Half a Loaf

Collide-a-ScapeBy Keith KloorOct 2, 2009 6:37 PM

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Following the logic of that Grist article I cited in my last post, this commentary on the congressional climate bill strikes me as pretty "radical," coming from a well-respected, mainstream greenie like Bill McKibben:

If you pass half a health care bill, you can always come back in a decade. People will suffer in the meantime, but it won't grow impossible to fix the problem: The Clinton debacle in the 1990s didn't mean that we couldn't try again this year. But, if we don't do what the science requires on climate change, the situation will get badly out of hand. In the last two years, methane levels in the atmosphere have begun to spike sharply, apparently because warming temperatures are now melting the permafrost that caps large deposits of the potent greenhouse gas. If we let the planet keep warming, we won't be able to shut that cycle off--we're clearly much closer to that kind of tipping point than we imagined just a few years ago. Half a job may not be better than no job at all.

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