It’s not enough. It’s too much. It will kill jobs. It will create jobs. If there’s one thing about climate politics, it’s tough to make anyone, let alone everyone, happy. Sure, Waxman-Markey isn’t the kind of tough-ass climate legislation many environmentalists were hoping for, but what’s the reality of scrapping it, starting from scratch and getting something better? Nil.
Fact is, it’s better than what was there before. And considering the U.S. position on climate issues only a year ago, it’s a pretty spectacular feat to pass this kind of legislation in the House in the middle of an economic recession. It’s better than what Canada has, I’m sad to say. And I’m counting on the fact that this piece of law — assuming it can be pushed through the U.S. Senate — will light a fire blowtorch under Canada’s federal government. It’s not perfect, but it lays the foundation. At the very least, it positions that U.S. battleship in the direction of its target, when not so long ago that ship was completely off course.
Congrats to my U.S. readers and friends on this landmark vote in the House. As former vice-president Al Gore remarked this evening in a published statement, “We are at an extraordinary moment, with an historic opportunity to confront one of the world’s most serious challenges. Our actions now will be remembered by this generation and all those to follow — in our own nation and others around the world.”