Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

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The Coming Catastrophe That's Pretty Much Like a Typical Day

"You Have No Idea How Bad a GOP Congress Will Be For The Environment," the New Republic headline shouts. OK. So, how bad will it be?

So bad, according to the story by Bradford Plumer, that all of the global warming legislation that hasn't been enacted by this Congress won't be enacted by the next one, either.  Legislation to advance policies like cap-and-trade "will be pulseless for the next two years," laments Plumer. But that bill hasn't had a pulse since it left the House in 2009. No one has ever been able to find 60, or even 50, votes for it in a Senate with 59 Democrats. And votes in favor of it have become one of the chief vulnerabilities of Democrats representing not-so-blue districts. 

Plumer has written a lot of helpful things about environmental issues, but this instance of missing the big picture is not an outlier.  As Walter Russell Mead recently explained, missing the big picture has become the defining quality of the modern, tone-deaf environmental movement: "The most Democratic Congress in a generation will not pass significant climate legislation before the midterms pull Congress to the right, and there will be no US law on carbon caps or anything close in President Obama's first term, and there is less public faith in or concern about climate change today than at any time in the last fifteen years. Has any public pressure group ever spent so much direct mail and foundation money for such pathetic results?"

Discussions - 1 Comment

I think Plumer is a hack, not up to the standards of Easterbrook, who used to do TNR's heavy lifting on the environment. In any case, Mead is right about the climate campaign. But wait till Friday: I've got a piece coming out in The Weekly Standard saying the climate campaigners have no one to blame but themselves for Republican hostility to their cause.

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