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