As I mentioned in a previous post, many of my colleagues in climate-action circles are delighted at the detailed commitments the presidential candidates in the Democrat field are making about what they’ll do to fight global warming. It seems ungrateful to ask them for more. But ask we must.
We need to know what they’ll do to act quickly. And we need to hear their unifying vision for the post-carbon world.
On speed: We’ve all read Jim Hansen’s warning that the international community must take significant action within a decade if we wish to avoid the most dangerous consequences of global warming.
Now the head of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has moved up the deadline. In announcing the IPCC’s final report on Nov. 16, Rajendra Pachuari warned, “If there’s no action before 2012, that’s too late. What we do in the next two to three years will determine our future. This is the defining moment.”
So, the question we must ask the candidates is not only what they’ll do, but when they’ll do it. What, for example, is each candidate’s plan for the first 180 days of the presidency — the six-month honeymoon period between inauguration and the middle of August, when Congress traditionally takes its summer recess?
What will the next President do about our constipated Congress?