The daily doom: Obama’s not pushing edition

To repeat myself, yet again: Does a day ever go by anymore without another terrifying revelation about global warming?

Normally, when I do an edition of The Daily Doom, these words are followed by some terrifying new scientific disclosure related to global warming. But this time it’s the politics of climate change that’s scaring the hell out of me. Specifically, there appears to be good reason to fear that the Obama Administration isn’t ready to make the fight against climate change one of its top priorities.

This from The New York Times:

Obama, Who Vowed Rapid Action on Climate Change, Turns More Cautious

President Obama came to office promising swift and comprehensive action to combat global climate change, and the topic remains a surefire applause line in his speeches here and abroad.

Yet the administration has taken a cautious and rather passive role on the issue, proclaiming broad goals while remaining aloof from details of climate legislation now in Congress.

The president’s budget initially included roughly $650 billion in revenue over 10 years from a cap-and-trade emissions plan that he wants adopted. But the administration, while insisting that its health care initiative be protected, did not fight to keep cap-and-trade in the budget resolutions that Congress passed last week, and it wound up in neither the House’s version nor the Senate’s.

Overseas, American officials are telling their counterparts that they need time to gauge the American public’s appetite for an ambitious carbon reduction scheme before leading any international effort.

This could be very bad news. If Washington continues to view climate change as principally a political issue, rather than a moral imperative, strong action will never come. While I believe that the American people will be willing to sacrifice to save our planet, sacrifice on the scale needed won’t just bubble up naturally out of the earth like spring water: the pump needs to be primed by political leadership.

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