As featured on p. 218 of "Bloggers on the Bus," under the name "a MyDD blogger."

Monday, April 14, 2008

Now Is The Time To Act Like Fighting Global Warming

Either Al Gore's big-media campaign is bearing fruit, or the Republicans have sensed that triangulating on global warming makes sense, or John McCain needs some help with younger people, but whatever the reason, the President has decided on a legacy.

President Bush is poised to change course and announce as early as this week that he wants Congress to pass a bill to combat global warming, and will lay out principles for what that should include.

Specifics of the policy are still being fiercely debated, but Bush administration officials have told Republicans in Congress that they feel pressure to act now because they fear a coming regulatory nightmare. It would be the first time Mr. Bush has called for statutory authority on the subject.

"This is an attempt to move the administration and the party closer to the center on global warming. With these steps, it is hoped that the debate over this is over, and it is time to do something," said an administration source close to the White House who is familiar with the planning and who said to expect an announcement this week.

I think what's going on is that the Administration knows they'll lose upcoming lawsuits that will force the EPA to allow regulation of greenhouse gas emissions and they're trying to get in front of it with some toothless policy. It'll reward polluters and do nothing to solve the problem, but Democrats will be "extremists" for not wanting to line up behind the President on his bold and glorious plan.

Bush wants you to know as well that just because he's finally waking up to the need for Congressional action doesn't mean he hasn't been teh awsom on climate change already.

But Brian Kennedy, spokesman for the Institute for Energy Research, said Mr. Bush should realize that the U.S. is already ahead of the Europeans.

"U.S. taxpayers are already spending more than $40 billion a year to address climate change, and to date we're achieving better results than the Europeans are under a bureaucratic regulatory framework," he said. "That should be kept in mind before any rash — or political — decisions are made inside the White House. Excessive regulations would come with significant economic consequences and additional costs for consumers."

That's just not true. Our efforts to date have been insufficient to control the problem, and our failure of leadership on climate change globally has led to the potential impacts becoming ever more catastrophic. This idea that regulations would be worse than the consequences of inaction is a deeply held conservative myth that has never been proven true. Global warming is a public health, energy, national security and economic issue, and volunteer efforts to fight it will fall short.

If Bush wants to pick up a sign and lash himself to a tree to stop bulldozers from building new coal-fired power plants, great. But somehow I'm skeptical that his plan will have any, whaddyacallit, impact.

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