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Waxman-Markey Will Not Do: A "Fell-Swoop" Moment Missed

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"We have been too kind to those people who are destroying the planet ~ inexcusably, unforgivably, insanely kind."
-- Derrick Jensen, author of Endgame

 

As the bell rang in the U.S. House of Representatives, announcing the 219-212 vote for passage of the Waxman-Markey climate bill, also known as the American Clean Energy and Security Act (ACES), the skies over Washington, DC ripped loose with a mighty storm. 

 

Visibility was cut to a couple of feet as a torrential downpour was accompanied by hail that raised a ruckus so loud inside the car that conversation was impossible.  Tourists with inadequate umbrellas were left with skin stinging from the pelting.  There were small waves cresting on the Potomac River and flash flooding.  Local areas got several inches of rain in less than an hour.  Large trees bowed, split and littered the streets.  

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At least 2 people in the Washington, DC region died from the storm.  Forty-year-old, supermom Kelly Murray of Chevy Chase, Maryland and her 7-year-old daughter Sloane, died when a fallen tree branch crushed them in their mini-van on Connecticut Avenue.  Murray leaves a husband and 4 daughters:  Maeve, Jillian, Quinn and Meghan.

 

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With the evidence of catastrophic climate change coming more clearly into daily focus, President Obama dared to say, "We're not going to get there in one fell swoop."  Mother Nature seemed to declare, "I beg to differ, Waxman-Markey, that simply will not do." 


"Vital authority for the EPA is stripped, but 2 billion additional tons of pollution are authorized every year, forever. Residential consumer protection incredibly is entrusted to the mercy of utility companies. Exempting a hundred new coal plants and paying billions to Old King Coal leaves him, indeed, a very merry old soul. This bill is 85% different from what President Obama proposed months ago," said Brent Blackwelter, President of Friends of the Earth, one of the groups opposed to the House version of the bill.

Even The Washington Post, which has grown increasingly conservative, said in an editorial, "Congress should deliver a bill to Mr. Obama this year. But given that congressional action could set a template for years or decades, we think it's too soon to settle for something that falls so far short of ideal," as the House version of the bill does.


Environmental and energy advocate, Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) was in the minority voting against the bill. He and, "It won't address the problem. In fact, it might make the problem worse. It certainly seems as if the lights may be on, powered by dirty coal, but there is nobody home in the U.S. House of Representatives.  Did they miss the report of the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in 1990 when they said we must cut greenhouse gas emissions 60-80% immediately?  Were they unconscious when in 2001, the IPCC said that the problem was 50% worse than originally predicted? 

Has Congress missed the rapidly receding Arctic ice?  Did it not register with them when Katie Walters reported in Science Magazine that methane, the greenhouse gas 25 times more powerful than carbon dioxide, was bubbling out of the arctic, taking humanity into the dreaded phase, where climate change may be beyond human control? 

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Were U.S. House members on recess when the Massachusetts Institute of Technology recently said, "The most comprehensive modeling yet carried out on the likelihood of how much hotter the Earth's climate will get in this century shows that without rapid and massive action, the problem will be about twice as severe as previously estimated six years ago - and could be even worse than that."

 

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http://voteclimatepac.org/

Karyn Strickler is a political scientist, grassroots organizer and writer. She is founder and president of Vote Climate U.S. PAC, working to elect candidates to get off fossil fuels and put a price on carbon. Karyn is the former host and (more...)
 

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