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Environment

Tortured Climate Logic at The Times

Collide-a-ScapeBy Keith KloorAugust 19, 2009 5:43 PM

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Did anyone else shake their head in confusion while reading yesterday's uneven NYT editorial on climate change politics and policy? It starts off remarking that that Congress has no "plausible strategy for reducing the greenhouse gas emissions" and then duly notes that the Waxman-Markey bill

is not as strong as needed, but is a start.

A few graphs later, after discussing tipping points, it quotes Rajendra Pachauri, the head of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, saying that, "what we do in the next two or three years will determine our future." To underscore both the air of urgency and lack of coordinated action, the Times then immediately notes that Pachauri

said that two years ago.

Discouraged by this state of affairs, the Times, like many climate advocates, is latching on to a "new strategy":

warning that global warming poses a serious threat to national security.

As the editorial observes, it's "pretty good politics" when you have four-star generals and the "national security establishment" making this "line of argument." True. But that won't change what is also widely considered to be the weak, ineffectual policy prescription in Congress.

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