The story broke on the New York Times just now, and the news is no doubt exciting for environmentalists everywhere. Not once during the 2012 presidential debates did either candidate discuss global warming. The issues of jobs, jobs, and more jobs took precedence.
President Obama is right to move on climate change issues, moving with parts of the United States and the rest of the globe because climate change is real, and only substantial policy change will even begin to help the United States mitigate and adapt to climate change. Carbon limits are but a start.
Pundits everywhere will cry foul. That carbon limits will limit GDP. Kill jobs. Destroy growth. As President Obama will surely say, such bifurcation is surely false. The benefits of a green economy are large, represent the future, spur growth and innovation. I will go ahead and add one more: keep the world’s continents from alternately experiencing droughts, fires, floods, hurricanes, and coastal erosion so severe we will not even be able to recognize Florida’s coastline in one hundred years.
The politics of climate change are unbelievably messy. Yet the science is clear: act now or pay later. With the move to curb carbon, I have the audacity to hope that science and environment once again guide US policy.