Ezra Klein gets to the heart of the difficulty in passing good environmental legislation:
If you wanted to design a threat that our political system couldn’t address, here’s what you’d do: You’d make the pain of doing nothing come much later, but the pain of doing something begin right now. You’d concentrate the costs of failure in poor countries, while the costs of a policy solution would be concentrated in certain regions of America. You’d make it hard to solve without the imposition of a new tax. You’d make sure that some of the largest and richest industries in the world had an enormous amount to fear from that tax.
Well, that settles it, I guess. Here goes our grand experiment in seeing what happens when you have over 400 parts per million of carbon in the atmosphere…soon to be 500;)
Future’s so bright…all we can be thankful for is that oil is depleting quickly enough to force alternative efforts. Hurrah to the Chevy Volt…and here’s hoping Dana Pico learns what an early adopter is! It’s somewhat expensive now, but the economies of scale are amazing things, aren’t they? One year’s $600 iPhone 2G is today’s $200 iphone 4.
And Dana can hope the petroleum lasts forever, but it won’t be because “little toy electric cars simply are not us.” Our oil supplies will not remain cheap and economical because it we need to drive manly beast cars. We are not able to endlessly pollute the earth’s atmosphere simply because we can’t be bothered to charge a car. Desire is going to run right up against possibility and lose that battle. Unfortunately, climate change legislation faces certain political impossibilities because the GOP continues to drop the ball on our future and our grandchildren’s future for the sake of present greed.