Friday, July 3, 2009

Thomas Friedman on ACES

In his article The cap-and-trade bill is a mess; here's why Congress must approve it, Thomas Friedman expresses his utter dislike for ACES (and calls American youth to action) but insists that it must pass in the Senate. Why?

Because, for all its flaws, this bill is the first comprehensive attempt by America to mitigate climate change by putting a price on carbon emissions.

The next step is to strengthen the bill--but at least not weaken it--in the Senate. And to do so, Friedman says we need the support of three parties: Republicans, Obama, and the people. On Republicans, Friedman asks,

Does the GOP want to be the party of sex scandals and polluters or does it want to be a partner in helping America dominate the next great global industry: ET -- energy technology?

The funny part is that the GOP has an eco-friendly past. T.F. recalls Teddy and the national park system, the Nixon Administration which created the Clean Air Act and the EPA, and the Rio Treaty of 1993 signed by George Bush to protect bio-diversity.

Friedman speculates on Obama (who holds secret meetings with coal companies and blatantly attempts to hide them cough cough):

I also hope we will hear more from Barack Obama. Something feels very calculating in how he has approached this bill, as if he doesn't quite want to get his hands dirty, as if he is ready to twist arms in private, but not so much that if the bill goes down he will get tarnished.

That is no way to fight this war. Mr. Obama is going to have to mobilize the whole country to pressure the Senate -- by educating Americans, with speech after speech, about the opportunities and necessities of a serious climate/energy bill. If he is not ready to risk failure by going all out, failure will be the most likely result.

And my favorite part, We the People:

Attention all young Americans: Your climate future is being decided right now in the cloakrooms of the Capitol, where the coal lobby holds huge sway. You want to make a difference? Then get out of Facebook and into somebody's face. Get a million people on the Washington Mall calling for a price on carbon. That will get the Senate's attention. Play hardball or don't play at all.
Read the full article. It's a good one.

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