Tom Friedman’s column today represents, perfectly, the dilemma for supporters of the climate bill.
He says he hates the bill, then he implores the Senate to approve it. Friedman thinks the bill is overly complicated and weak, but it’s better than nothing and there’s a hope that if it’s approved, businesses and consumers will change their behaviour:
More important, my gut tells me that if the U.S. government puts a price on carbon, even a weak one, it will usher in a new mind-set among consumers, investors, farmers, innovators and entrepreneurs that in time will make a big difference — much like the first warnings that cigarettes could cause cancer. The morning after that warning no one ever looked at smoking the same again.
Ditto if this bill passes. Henceforth, every investment decision made in America — about how homes are built, products manufactured or electricity generated — will look for the least-cost low-carbon option. And weaving carbon emissions into every business decision will drive innovation and deployment of clean technologies to a whole new level and make energy efficiency much more affordable. That ain’t beanbag.
To get it through the Senate, and improve it, Friedman says the public, the President and Republicans all need to step up.
- If the public really wants to eliminate emissions and global warming, now is the time to speak up.
- No more behind close doors arm twisting from Obama, it’s time to take his argument out in the open and really press for the bill.
- Republicans are missing out if they vote against it: “How could Republicans become so anti-environment, just when the country is going green?”
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