ONE STEP CLOSER…
The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee has passed a Democratic climate bill through the U.S. Senate on Thursday Nov.5
The bill was written by California senator Barbara Boxer and takes a Cap and Trade approach along with new emissions standards to cut down on greenhouse gases.
The legislation requires that American industry will reduce its carbon dioxide emissions and other greenhouse cases by 2020, from levels measured in 2005.
Senate Democrats have started a self proclaimed aggressive new stage in passing legislation that will push President Obama’s agenda.
This emboldened approach to passing a comprehensive global warming bill is due to several factors. First, the two gubernatorial wins for Republicans in the special election this past Tuesday has shook up the Democratic Super Majority into taking stronger action.
Second, Obama will be attending talks on the climate crisis in Copenhagen next month and Senate Democrats want to give him legislation that he can talk about at the conference.
Lastly, Democrats faced a crushing defeat with a 2008 Senate climate change bill and this will be an attempt at a comeback from that setback.
The bottom line is that the Democrats are trying to effectively wield the majority that they have been given and climate change is one of the few avenues that they and the President want to head down.
Many analysts say that the Boxer bill will not pass a full Senate hearing and the newly senior senator from Massachusetts, John Kerry has been enlisted to rally moderates such as Arlen Spector and Joe Lieberman into supporting this bill.
Kerry was the co-author of the bill and he wishes to get Republicans to join him and Boxer in passing this new legislation that aims to reduce greenhouse gases, a goal that echoes the campaign promises of both his and the President’s campaigns.
Can Kerry motivate a very stubborn right into coming over to the left of the aisle? Obama, one of the most well received president elects in recent history has not been able to deliver that campaign promise so can Kerry, a man who lost the presidency in 2004 far better?
All he has to do is weal and deal the members of Congress which as an experienced Senator I have no doubt he can do, the problem is will the centrist and right wing senators wish to be seen co-sponsoring a Kerry Boxer climate bill?
IS BUSINESS ANTI ENVIRONMENTAL?
If the Democrats are going to want to play hard ball they have good opponents to play against, well maybe I shouldn’t say good, but at least a challenging set of naysayers and head shakers.
The Republican strategy has been to stress jobs and economics within the climate change debate going as far as having Karl Rove publish an article on the matter when Al Gore graced the cover of Newsweek recently.
Common contentions such as that of Senator James Inhofe, the senior Republican on the Environment and Public Works Committee, state that the strict regulation on industry will shrink the U.S. economy.
Some business leaders have responded to this common Republican talking point such as the former CEO of Paypal and current CEO of Tesla Motors, the sexy electric car company, and most vocally adventurer-billionaire Richard Branson. Here Branson and other CEOs talk about deforestation:
The video shows that even titans of industry regard things like the environment more important that corporate gains. We need to have clean air to even exchange money, let alone make it.
Branson and countries like France and Japan have shown that green technologies and infrastructures pay for themselves within a few years, with heavy investments in those technologies with profitable results. Even if you except that business only wants money than, going green should be an immediate goal of all industry.
KEEP THE HEAT ON
It is easy to want to forget about the environmental movement with the extreme hype and marketing that it received in 2007. The poor Live Aid and Live 8 clone, Live Earth was as awkward as it was long and each cable channel devoting blocks of its programming and advertising to “going green” felt opportunistic at the least and propaganda at the worst.
We need to take the climate change debate in a new direction where technology and innovation of industry is celebrated. The startup company Tesla has proven that one can be successful in creating alternative energy solutions while GE has improved its entire corporate image by building green technology.
The irony is that the energy and environmental crisis might be solved with the flick of a switch but only if we try, because then the earth may go into the dark.