Enter your email address to subscribe to Irregular Times and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 192 other subscribers

Irregular Times Newsletters

Click here to subscribe to any or all of our six topical e-mail newsletters:
  1. Social Movement Actions,
  2. Credulity and Faith,
  3. Election News,
  4. This Week in Congress,
  5. Tech Dispatch and
  6. our latest Political Stickers and Such

Contact Us

We can be contacted via retorts@irregulartimes.com

Senate Democrats Failing To Act On Climate Change

There’s a new piece of legislation, entitled the Climate Action and Low Carbon Development Bill, designed to consolidate national efforts to deal with climate change. Unfortunately, this new piece of legislation is being considered by the national legislature of Ireland, not here in the United States of America.

What is our national legislature doing here in the USA to confront the growing crisis of climate change? Not much.

President Barack Obama talked a lot in his inaugural speech and State Of The Union address about how he would focus intensely on the problem of climate change, but since those speeches, he’s done nothing on the subject. It is within the responsibilities of the President of the United States to send specific legislation to the Congress, but President Obama has sent Congress no climate change legislation.

Congressional Democrats aren’t doing much to pick up the slack. In the House of Representatives, the supposedly most environmentally-conscious U.S. representatives have formed a Safe Climate Caucus, but that caucus has produced no legislation, and has promised only to talk about climate change, rather than taking action.

In the U.S. Senate, independent Bernard Sanders and Democrat Barbara Boxer have introduced S. 332, a strong bill that would both reduce the federal budget deficit and lower carbon emissions. However, in the two weeks since S. 332 was introduced, not one single additional U.S. senator, Republican or Democrat, has signed up to support the legislation through a cosponsorship. Barack Obama won’t even talk about the bill, pretending that it doesn’t exist.

Once again, we’ve seen that the promises of the Democratic Party to end a generation of inaction on climate change can’t be trusted. Instead, environmentalists are having to work against the Democratic Party’s efforts to protect the fossil fuel industry. Greenpeace has launched a new petitioning effort to pressure the Obama White House to pull back from its plans to expand offshore drilling for oil in the Arctic, writing to Obama:

“Someone outside the industry needs to call a ‘timeout’ to review whether or not the technology is keeping pace as companies push into increasingly risky climates.

Mr. President, that someone should be you.

I am urging you to call for a ‘timeout’ from all Arctic drilling and suspend Shell’s permits to drill in the Chukchi and Beaufort seas immediately.

It’s time to rethink our energy policy. Melting sea ice is a warning to humanity. Not an invitation to drill for more of the stuff that is causing the problem in the first place.”

4 comments to Senate Democrats Failing To Act On Climate Change

  • Tom

    i’m with you in trying to stop this crazy race to oblivion Green Man, but we should have been transitioning to more sustainable/renewable sources at least 30 – 40 years ago, and now the damage is done. We should still try to stop, of course, but we’re in for a terrible time in the very near future, as is the environment we depend on for our survival. Trees (and most other vegetation) all over the world are dying due to increased (and increasing) ozone levels in the troposphere (the lower 7 miles of atmosphere we reside in) from the chemical reactions to CO2, methane and other noxious gases our civilization spews into the air relentlessly. The oceans are acidifying and large dead zones appearing all over, pollution ranging from oil (and Corexit type surfactants) to plastic to the debris from the tsunamis is spreading to far away shorelines and gathering in huge gyres, affecting birds, fish, plankton and the stability of ocean ecology. We’ve triggered 8 positive feedback loops that make the problem of containment of (especially) methane almost impossible, cause the planet-warming effects to accelerate, and will continue to effect life on the planet and its climate for thousands of years – even if we stopped all of our pollution today. It’s way worse than we think because the planet takes time to react to this chemical imbalance and, though we can see the effects of stronger storms, longer droughts and heavier flooding, it won’t get really bad for a few more years yet (and then it will continue to worsen). Soon enough we won’t be able to grow enough food for the masses, it’ll become too hot or conditions will deteriorate to the point that most of the species we rely on for food will no longer be able to survive – everything from the plankton that provide half the oxygen we breathe to the pollinators and vegetation, to the overfished and toxic oceans.

    i’m going to an anti-fracking rally today in Philadelphia at noon, but i know that we as a species will be gone by the 2030′s if not sooner. Fight to the finish.

  • Tom

    order of events according to Dmitry Orlov:

    Stage 1: Financial collapse. Faith in “business as usual” is lost.

    Stage 2: Commercial collapse. Faith that “the market shall provide” is lost.

    Stage 3: Political collapse. Faith that “the government will take care of you” is lost.

    Stage 4: Social collapse. Faith that “your people will take care of you” is lost.

    Stage 5: Cultural collapse. Faith in “the goodness of humanity” is lost.

  • Anonymous

    Let’s not beat up on Obama. He’s already doing a lot to transition us to cheap, clean, abundant American energy: natural gas, along with plentiful supplies of domestic oil. The US is now the Saudi Arabia of cleaner-burning natural gas. He also stood up to those who panicked after Fukushima, choosing hope by supporting local plants that make 100% clean, 100% emissions-free, 100% carbon-free nuclear power rather than just shutting them down, as some have suggested. He’s also talked a whole lot about solar and wind. As a progressive, I applaud the President for his vision.

Leave a Reply