Sunday, July 25, 2010

Some days, the bear gets you

I suppose congratulations are in order to the deniers, delayers, and other head-in-sand-ers after the Senate capitulated to the forces of the status quo intent on having America hang on to the 1940s forever. We are for now not going to be moving forward even slightly with a comprehensive national legislative strategy to shift meaningfully toward clean energy and away from climate altering massive carbon emissions. So by postponing action we are taking a pass on the economic benefit of investing sooner in the clean energy future, and we are making the future worse climatically. It is like a tax increase for the future.

Make no mistake, we will have to confront and address the issue at some point. The choice is whether to do it earlier and avoid more of the dire consequences of our actions or to wait longer so that the situation grows catastrophic and we can only make it less awful. We are choosing for fingers-in-the-ear ignoring of the issue, which will be realized at some point as stupid.

Though not surprising, obviously this is a very disappointing situation. I think Dave Roberts at Grist pretty well captured many of my feelings. He points out that overall there is still momentum on taking action to rein in emissions, that the Senate contains many cowards, and summarizes,
It's a sad, corrupt state of affairs this country finds itself in. I wish I had some hopeful words to offer. But at this point, American government appears to be broken. And our children and grandchildren will suffer for it.

Roberts notes a very interesting conversation soon-to-retire Senator Byron Dorgan had with coal bigwigs as the current Senate process was falling apart. I want to expand on this in its own post, but Dorgan basically said that just because the Senate dropped the ball, there is still action coming down the line.

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