Renowned American astronomer and author Carl Sagan once wrote, “We have also arranged things so that almost no one understands science and technology. This is a prescription for disaster. We might get away with it for a while, but sooner or later this combustible mixture of ignorance and power is going to blow up in our faces.”
Senate democrats have decided to abandon the energy and climate bill because they don’t have enough votes to stop the republican filibuster and they don’t want to risk their chances in the November elections. Instead of showing leadership, President Obama is playing it safe.
For Republican senators, a market based cap and trade system under Obama is akin to socialism. The irony is that the first major cap and trade system in the US was introduced as part of the Clean Air Act Amendments (CAAA) in 1990 when George Bush, Sr. was the President. It was a sweeping reform which included a, now highly successful, cap and trade system (termed as emissions trading then) for sulfur dioxide control. It was a good thing under a republican president but unacceptable under a democratic President. Now “cap and trade system for carbon” is such dirty term that even Senator Majority Leader Harry Reid has avoided using it.
The American public is thoroughly confused on what to believe with their leaders clearly divided and calling for opposite actions. “Climate bill” means nothing for them as long as jobs are secure and gas is cheap.
The sad truth here is that even if this bill were passed, it was so much watered down that it would have made hardly any impact. However, it would still have been a small step in the right direction. Both Democrats and Republicans could have claimed this as their victory rightfully and helped the country move forward. Instead now China will take the lead on this as well as it is going to start a domestic carbon trading during its next Five-Year Plan beginning 2011. "The market-based carbon-trading schemes will be a cost-effective supplement to administrative means," said Yu Jie, an independent policy observer. China is adopting a market based approach for carbon trading voluntarily and it is time for our politicians to learn lessons on capitalism from communist China.
The decline of America began with the election of George Bush, Jr. at the turn of this century and that process is still continuing unabated thanks to the senate that has the political power but is ignorant and arrogant.