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The Climate Race

By Keith Kloor
May 19, 2009 8:46 PMNov 20, 2019 4:12 AM


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If all the main players and policy instruments in the congressional debate over climate change were represented in a demolition derby, here's what it might look like: In a brand new Lexus GS,a Democratic politician (Waxman-Markey) is behind the wheel, clumsily groping at an anorexic cap and trade bill in the front passenger seat. In the same car, a Republican politician (Joe Barton) is seated directly behind the driver, unable to resist smacking the back of Waxman-Markey's head. To Barton's right is environmental advocate A (James Hansen), urging the driver to crash the car. To Hansen's right is environmental advocate B (Joe Romm), urging the driver to keep his eye on the road and his foot firmly on the accelerator. Meanwhile, muffled noises can be heard from the trunk, where carbon tax is bound and gagged. Trailing behind is a roaring gaggle containing the rest of the concerned pack. Earth guardian Al Gore mans his own Ford Escape. Ramming him from behind is fossil fuel lover Marc Morano, laughing hysterically in a 1970 Cutlass Supreme. Just behind Morano is philospher scientist Gavin Schmidt and his gang, all crammed into a vintage VW bug. In the pressbox, reporter Andy Revkincovers all the action. Unruly fans in the stands occasionally throw tomatoes and eggs at him. The rest of the world watches the spectacle, open-mouthed, except in Beijing, where lots of giggling can be heard.

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