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Pablo Eisenberg
Philanthropic leader

Pablo Eisenberg

A Senior Fellow at the Georgetown Public Policy Institute, Pablo Eisenberg served for 23 years as Executive Director of the Center for Community Change.

Climate change legislation paralysis

Q: Now that even China has put a price on carbon emissions, the U.S. is the only major economy yet to take action on global warming. Why does this issue seem to defy political leadership? Who, in your opinion, is MOST responsible for the leadership failure--President Obama and Senate leaders for not forcing a deal? Republicans unwilling to consider anything that might raise energy prices? Coal and oil state Democrats? Republican moderates who bowed to conservative pressure?

The blame for not enacting a climate change bill has to be shared by several parties. First the President has not demonstrated any leadership or courage on the matter. Nor has the leadership in the Senate or among Democrats. Finally, the Republicans, beholden to energy companies, business and outmoded ideology, have opposed any reasonable policies to tackle the carbon, air quality and energy problems that currently face this country. Also the public has not lighted the fires required for reform or to hold our politicians accountable.

A total lack of responsibility and courage have led our politicians into a state of paralysis.

By Pablo Eisenberg

 |  August 3, 2010; 5:50 PM ET
Category:  Failures , Government leadership Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
Previous: Stuck with carbon lock-in | Next: Time for old-fashioned horse trading on carbon


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China will implement enough carbon trading for PR purposes to try to politically pressure the US to fully implement it.

Here's the key: implementing carbon trading puts a country at a competitive disadvantage. You cannot get around that. That's why Europe is pushing the US on the issue because they are at a significant disadvantage due to higher energy costs.

We'd have to be pretty stupid to implement it, frankly.

Posted by: Ombudsman1 | August 5, 2010 7:06 PM
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My vote is that the Citizens of the USA - with all of the coverage by the press and other media - just doesn't care - and is not interested in being inconvenienced. Look at all the hype about our collective health - 27% of our population is obese. That gives me a vision of a people way too self-indulgent to give a poop about their environment. If our citizens were to ever become interested in the environment, I do believe that our politicians would march along. It's just that, politicians know us too well. Even with such terrible economics, politicians know we're still going to take the easiest route - that is, until that route is no longer available...then, we'll stand around asking "why didn't someone DO something." Let's face it - we in the USofA are just sorry stewards of our planet - we keep telling the world we're the greatest country on the planet...well, we're numero uno in trashing it.

Posted by: Lou60 | August 5, 2010 2:15 PM
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Merely talking so far.

Read the article:

Posted by: AndrewDover | August 5, 2010 12:07 PM
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Has China instituted carbon trading or are they merely talking about instituting carbon trading?

I would note that China imported 125 million tons of coal last year. Are limits on coal being imposed as a 'climate' measure or as a 'protectionist' measure?

Posted by: SoldiersDad | August 4, 2010 3:44 PM
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