Monbiot on Climate Change Bill
Obama should really change his slogan to “Yes, We Can’t”. I suspect this sort of thing will characterize the crafting of legislation on financial regulation and health care as well:
George Monbiot’s blog
Why do we allow the US to act like a failed state on climate change?
The Waxman-Markey climate bill is the best we will get from America until the corruption of public life is addressed
It would be laughable anywhere else. But, so everyone says, the Waxman-Markey bill which is likely to be passed in Congress today or tomorrow, is the best we can expect–from America.
The cuts it proposes are much lower than those being pursued in the UK or in most other developed nations. Like the UK’s climate change act the US bill calls for an 80% cut by 2050, but in this case the baseline is 2005, not 1990. Between 1990 and 2005, US carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels rose from 5.8 to 7bn tonnes.
The cut proposed by 2020 is just 17%, which means that most of the reduction will take place towards the end of the period. What this means is much greater cumulative emissions, which is the only measure that counts. Worse still, it is riddled with so many loopholes and concessions that the bill’s measures might not offset the emissions from the paper it’s printed on. You can judge the effectiveness of a US bill by its length: the shorter it is, the more potent it will be. This one is some 1,200 pages long, which is what happens when lobbyists have been at work.
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