In U.S., Al Gore has more company on climate change now
As the climate debate shifts away from the blame game, there's a growing interest in climate-action strategy.
Global climate change promises to be as big an issue in 2008, politically, as it was last year. In the United States, presidential and congressional elections are likely to be a major factor in this accelerating interest. That's particularly true since the issue is closely related to energy policy, not to mention the instability in Iraq, an oil-rich part of the world.Skip to next paragraph
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"A Senate committee approved legislation [last] month that would place mandatory limits on carbon dioxide emissions and create a carbon-trading market – the core components of the Kyoto Treaty. 'Arguing about global warming now is like arguing against gravity,' said Rep. Jay Inslee, D-Wash.... Lawmakers from both parties, along with lobbyists and advocates ... say the issue has never seen stronger momentum on Capitol Hill."
The ground seems to be shifting at the White House too,. President Bush has moved incrementally toward accepting the reality of human-caused global warming. The Washington Post describes the nature of the change:
"For years, Bush bristled privately at what he considered ... alarmism by the liberal, elitist Hollywood crowd. The clatter over climate change, according to friends and advisers, seemed to him more like a political agenda than a rational response to known facts. But ever so gradually, they say ... he has found the science increasingly persuasive and believes more needs to be done."
Climate change has not been a major issue in the presidential race. But that may be changing, notes a story in The Des Moines Register:
"Gone are the days when former Vice President Al Gore was the lone political voice talking about global warming and alternative energy. Not only have Gore's fellow Democrats detailed positions on the issue, but Republicans – historically more reluctant to talk about global warming and energy – have begun to find their voices as well."