The world’s policies on tackling global warming should be based on science, not on “political realism”. The acceptance by the US House of the Climate Bill confirmed (once again) my worst fears that even our greenest political and NGO leaders are just not up to the challenge.
Compared to the Bush administration’s lack of any serious climate policy, the bill that was passed is certainly progress but in terms of really making a difference for the long-term future of the planet, the watered-down proposal is just one big disappointment. Is the glass half-full or have empty? The question is not even relevant as we will need more than a glass to extinguish this burning house.
It is also highly interesting to see some stakeholder reactions to the adopted bill. What about the following quote:
“To curb climate change, the world needs to cut carbon emissions. It needs US leadership on the issue too. But this bill is not the way. A bewildering combination of cap-and-trade, mandates, new regulation, and every kind of open and disguised subsidy, it is too complicated, too prone to subversion and in many ways downright self-defeating.
Learning nothing from Europe’s experience, the bill relies heavily on offsets, which let companies pay someone else to plant trees or cut emissions, so they do not have to. The still-unsolved problem is policing the system to ensure the offsets are real. The bill gives oversight of domestic offsets in farming to the Department of Agriculture – good news for farmers seeking a new trough of subsidy. To defend US competitiveness, it proposes subsidies for exporters and penalties on importers. In principle, cap-and-trade does require border adjustments, but the bill is careless and creates a gateway for protectionism.
In short, it is a mess. The key to a better plan is understanding that you cannot cut carbon without making carbon-based fuels more expensive – an obvious point, you would think. But it is one that US policymakers still cannot face.”
Subversive and frustrated reaction from some deep-green NGO, no?
Actually, no, these quotes come from business newspaper Financial Times.
And what did most green NGOs say, Well, they applauded, said this was a milestone, and hoped the Senate would maybe still strengthen the legislation. A case of false loyalty after they put so much hope in the Obama revolution? Wake up, guys, and face the inconvenient truth. As long as governments will be driven by “political realism”, the planet will remain en route to collapse. Better get ready to become a lot more radical and innovative than believing politics can help us out of this mess.
The FT articles on the US climate bill can be found here and here.