Until the election, this long-beloved annual traditional of Climate Progress was a lock for one person — last year’s winner. After all, like Time magazine, our Person of the Year is awarded to the person or group who “for better or for worse … has done the most to influence the events of the year” in the climate arena.
Now the judges are split. On the one hand, no person on the entire planet, heck no semi-sentient lifeform in the entire solar system, has week-after-week worked so tirelessly, given 110% evey day, to high-impact misleadership on the issue of the century than George W. Bush.
Indeed, even after the election, when you think he is not just a lame duck, but a duck in need of a hip replacement, electroshock therapy, and CPR, his EPA administrator undoes perhaps the only recent glimmer of hope to come out of the one tiny enlightened corner of the entire executive branch that
Darth Dick Cheney had apparently not cowered into conscienceless, self-destructive, obedience — when the EPA Environmental Appeals Board voted to stop new coal plants cold. But as the NYT reported Friday, “Officials weighing federal applications by utilities to build new coal-fired power plants cannot consider their greenhouse gas output, the head of the Environmental Protection Agency ruled late Thursday.”
Of course not. Sure the Supreme Court ruled against the Bush Administration, decided carbon dioxide was a pollutant, and ordered EPA to start regulating it under the Clean Air Act. But they didn’t reckon on George Bush ruling against them.
On the other hand, Bush and Cheney never counted on the American people ruling against them. And now the country will be lead by the greenest, most scientifically informed, radical pragmatists in the history of the Republic:
- Obama: “The science is beyond dispute… Delay is no longer an option. Denial is no longer an acceptable response.”
- Why Biden is such an important pick for those who care about the climate
- SOS trumps NSA (Hillary Clinton trumps Gen. Jones)
- Carol Browner to oversee energy and climate at the White House
- Top 5 reasons Chu is a great energy pick — #1: “It’s not guaranteed we have a solution for coal”
- Obama picks a green jobs leader for Labor Secretary: Hilda Solis
- The first green Secretary of Commerce
- For NOAA head, Obama appoints yet another scientist who gets climate
- Obama’s strongest message on climate yet: John Holdren to be named Science Adviser
So the Climate Progress Person(s) of the Year is … not Obama nor his Cabinet. They haven’t done anything influential this year on climate.
No, the Climate Progress Persons of the Year are the American People. They proved that “Drill baby, drill” is not an energy policy, that voting against every effort to boost clean energy while giving a speech in front of wind turbine factory still makes you an old-fashioned (albeit erratic) pro-polluter conservative, that you can’t just put green lipstick on a global warming denier and put her a heart-beat away from the President. In short, as the man once said, you can’t you can’t fool all the people all the time.
They used their constitutionally given power to give the nation and the world a chance — a slim chance for sure, but a chance nonetheless — to avoid bringing unmitigated misery on the next 50 generations to walk the planet.