Obama's failure on climate may be a good thing
I just read an interesting piece in the NEW YORKER about Obama’s failure to secure climate-legislation.
But it fails to consider the terrifying possibility that it may be a GOOD thing that the legislation in question, ‘Kerry-Lieberman’, failed, just as it was a good thing, given the deals that were on offer, that Copenhagen failed ( see
One key to why can be found in the New Yorker article, if one reads carefully. For instance, here:
Obama, in a February, 2009, address to Congress, said, “To truly transform our economy, protect our security, and save our planet from the ravages of climate change, we need to ultimately make clean, renewable energy the profitable kind of energy. So I ask this Congress to send me legislation that places a market-based cap on carbon pollution.”
In March of 2009, a senior White House official outlined a strategy for a “grand bargain,” in which Democrats would capitulate to Republicans on some long-cherished environmental beliefs in exchange for a cap on carbon emissions. “You need to have something like T. Boone Pickens and Al Gore holding hands,” the White House official told me. In exchange for setting a cap on emissions, Democrats would agree to an increase in the production of natural gas (the only thing that Pickens, the Texas oil-and-gas billionaire, cared about), nuclear power, and offshore oil.
The deal was that power-production including fossil fuels would be allowed to keep going up, in return for a market-based carbon- trading system with massive loopholes, offsets, etc, and with the commodification of the world's remaining intact forest ecosystems - i.e. the very kind of system that is already (under Kyoto, the ETS, etc) leading us even faster to ecological cataclysm than would otherwise be the case (see the arguments of Larry Lohman, Biofuelwatch, Caroline Lucas and others for why).
So I shed no tears over Obama's failure to give us climate legislation. Until there is legislation on offer that would be better than nothing, it truly isn't worth caring about.
p.s. It is worth noting also that the EDF, the Nature Conservancy, WWF etc. have essentially sold out to large corporations, which is why they are pushing for a carbon-trading deal with mega-offsets, etc.