Potomac Fever is the blog of the Hamilton College Semester in Washington Program.
I actually agree with this.
The partisanship issue is the most interesting I think. It comes from a number of different issues. In all, I think Al Gore hurt the cause more than helping it by being the face of the issue in a time of such bitter partisanship. Obama advocating a position doesn't help either. I'd also like to see what GOP officials would say in an honest, closed conversation about global warming. Sure there are the Inhofe's and Bachmann's of the world who think it is a conspiracy, but I like to hope that behind closed doors, some GOP officials might say that this is or will become serious problem. Their constituents are a different story. I think GOP politicians are much more prone to following, not leading, their constituents nowadays. And those constituents are being fed a lot of media saying that global warming is a hoax by Fox News, Breitbart and others. Any rational person who has accepted the climate change is a problem before has to think it is a problem now. There hasn't been any swing in the science or reality of the situation, and if there has, it has been in the direction that climate change is actually a worse problem that is occurring faster than previously thought.
Environmentalists were a failure too, but I think that is more about the policy they were pushing. If your pushing for an increase in the cost of fossil fuels, you are going to have the full might of fossil fuel interests going against you. It's also very difficult for politicians to vote for something that would make things more expensive for their constituents, and while the House bill had a lot of giveaways to prevent this, it muddled the goal of GHG reductions and could be painted by fossil fuel interests as a de facto catchall tax that would effect everybody and everything. I think the strategy from here on out is going to be heavy funding for renewable R&D, but the GOP is also extremely opposed to this because their constituents don't believe in climate change and care a lot about government spending.
I find the arguments of Nordhaus and Shellenberger persuasive.
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