It is glaringly evident that in a last-ditch effort to show itself in a good light in the wake of the Copenhagen climate meet, the U.S. legislation has gone overboard with its costly, unrealistic targets of a 20 % cut target in a 11 year time-frame, without addressing such meaningful issues as nuclear research or how the additional costs will be mitigated and passed on to manufacturers and consumers. The bill does not address how it intends to constrain carbon emissions either. The bottom line is that without the 'cap and trade' details, the Bill leaves itself open to attack from the Oil and Coal sectors and right wing radicals, thus meaningless till de facto.
The Climate and Energy Bill may have taken off on a strong note in June, but was put in the backburner for the past few months. The Obama administration was obviously reluctant to jeopardise the various opposing interests. It was perhaps India's aggressive yet constantly evolving protean stance that pushed President Obama to get something concrete going for a tangible offering at the Copenhagen table. It is to be seen whether the Bill comes through intact or gets caught up and defiled within the crossfire of a senatorial turf war.
"No one believes that the clean energy bill that will come out of Congress will address the threat of global warming in a single step. But we have to start.”
On a lighter sideSuch has been the nail-biting climate conundrum over the past few weeks that it has inspired even the most die-hard cynics. We have homilies being evoked at random, with quotes from John Dunne being likened to the current climate change effect, "a bell that tolls for all of us".
There is the CEO Mr Kevin Tuerff, who has likened global climate negotiations to a poker game and a Grist blogger who has seen U.S.-China playing poker in his dreams.
Another eco blogger suggests
"Instead of wasting time throwing pies in peoples faces make a pie and give it to someone who needs it. And instead of making cutesie or provocative banners, use those sowing skills to teach someone how to make sustainable clothing. See my other posts on this and remember the story of the 100th monkey."
Then we have climate protesters in a fellow- sympathetic moment, with emotive statements like
"It’s an awkward position to be environmentalists working on climate change, but opposing a climate bill"!
Let alone all the crankery and tomfoolery afoot, wagers are also being laid about whether President Obama would actually make an appearance at Copenhagen …. when the time came for U.S. to deliver something concrete to the world to prove its honest intentions.
All in all, this entire climate quagmire leading up to Copenhagen shall probably remain in the minds of eco-activists, policy makers and cognizant folks for a long time to come, whether as the fiasco of the decade or the turning point for world climate graphs, we are here to see.
This shall be followed up with a mid-week update on "The Indian Approach"