July 23, 2010

Planetary FAIL.

The Climate Bill just died.

via twitter.com/elephantjournal: The Biggest, Worst “Green” Moment just Happened—and hardly any1 noticed. http://bit.ly/bDQijP except 4 @treehugger @salon @nytimes

“We don’t have a single Republican to work with us,” Mr. Reid said.

From the Times:

After a meeting of Senate Democrats, party leaders on Thursday said they had abandoned hope of passing a comprehensive energy bill this summer and would pursue a more limited measure focused primarily on responding the Gulf oil spill and including some tightening of energy efficiency standards.

It was already watered down, and weakened, but in the face of zero Republicans coming forward to support responsible business and even a half-assed shift toward thinking long-term, the bill is dead. It was perhaps our last, best, only chance to get anything passed for the next decade—in November the Democrats will, likely, lose their majority. President Obama is weak, his popularity a thing of the past, at least for now (perhaps because he failed to galvanize the greatest environmental moment since the burning Cleveland river, 40 years ago).

I’m all over twitter, and read the news on dozens of sites a week—and the world barely noticed. Even green bloggers and tweeters are largely silent, with one worthy exception:

[Democrats and President Obama] never tried to properly explain climate legislation to the public, never made a solid case for it — even though polls consistently found that the public was in favor of such legislation. Obama was woefully mum on the subject. And they could find no way to link the BP spill to a need to curb oil dependence, even when it was right under their noses.

This failure is pretty devastating. In November, the GOP is likely to recapture many seats in both the House and the Senate, making good climate legislation even more unlikely, especially if the party continues its science-bucking lines. It may literally be years now before we can pass legislation that addresses climate change. And all this on the heels of news that China — China, the most pollution-happy nation on the planet — has announced plans for a domestic cap and trade system to restrict its own carbon emissions…for the rest, go to Treehugger.

On all of youtube, this is the most popular video re the Climate Bill over the last week, since it died, and it’s at—get this—only 300 views at the time of writing:

Via Salon, excerpt:

We know the Obama administration doesn’t like to get into fights that it thinks it can’t win. And while I share the disgust that climate activists and Rolling Stone reporters have showered on the White House for failing to make action on climate change a serious legislative priority, I don’t dispute the administration’s realpolitik: With more than a handful of Democratic Senators dead set against a meaningful bill, there was simply no chance that Majority Leader Harry Reid was ever going to get to 60 votes in the Senate, given the opposition of what President Obama has accurately described as a “partisan minority determined to block change.”

Senator Kerry, however, says it’s not dead. Video.

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