If you want to pass climate legislation, fix U.S. politics

Jan 17, 2013 by

Casey Danson

Director, Global Possibilities

by Casey Danson

Illustration of the earth as a bomb with a lit fuse symbolizing that time is running out

I spent some time this morning in my favorite gym working out and there is a certain coach – Jim – who loves to ask me questions about environmental solutions etc, because he thinks I have the answers ha ha.  “Would it help if we all recycled in our homes the way you do?” he asked.  Of course I had to say yes, but went on to say that there is no political will in this country to really change anything and the fact is we need tough legislation YESTERDAY.  If trash were the only issue it would be simple but we shouldn’t be manufacturing stuff we don’t need nor should we be buying it.  I remember being in London, France and Amsterdam where my friends shop every day for fresh food — but that’s another subject I will write on another time.  Read on.

David Roberts of Grist wrote this an article about climate legislation and US politics..

When pondering the failure of a big legislative initiative like cap-and-trade — and oh, there’s been so much pondering! — there are two basic perspectives one can take. First, you can think about how a campaign could be improved so that next time the initiative can clear the bar. That’s mostly what my recent post-cap-and-trade piece (and the Theda Skocpol report [PDF] it discussed) focused on. Build a bigger movement, make the legislation simpler, get more help from the president, whatever. That kind of stuff. Alternatively, you can focus on how to lower the bar — how to make it easier to pass big, important legislation in general.

Now that’s for starters and we are now trying to resteer the Titanic and we all know how well that worked out.  So my question is what happened to the OCCUPY movement and why aren’t we all speaking out, talking to our elected officials, following in the footsteps of Bill McKibben’s 350.org?  We do need to move at wartime speed to make a shift in our climate.  We did it for WWII and if we had the political will, we could do it again.  I rest my case!

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