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The Secret Plan to Address Climate Change

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If I'm lucky, this post will be outdated by the time it circulates. I should be so lucky.

In 1968 Richard Nixon campaigned on his "secret plan to end the war in Viet Nam". Of course if he TOLD you the plan, you wouldn't have to elect him so he was keeping it close to the vest. Epilogue: There was no secret plan. At least not one that worked.

I'm beginning to feel like the Kerry, Graham, Lieberman climate bill is courting the same kind of mythic status. Of course there is a difference. John Kerry is a champion on climate and I'm certain (fairly certain) there is a legislative vehicle that will, at some point, see the light of day. No one has seen a draft. Some in the Senate and in the environmental community have received briefings. However no one knows where the wheel has landed on some fundamental issues.

Rumors, speculation, horror stories and discouragement are being sucked into the the information vacuum around this bill. The ACES bill that passed the House was imperfect in some important aspects, but did represent progress. The House showed some courage under fire in passing that bill last June. There was hope in the air for a for an improved version emerging from the Senate. Recent signals have fueled speculation that things may be moving in the other direction.

Three major oil companies are said to be okay with the bill. The President sent out signals about a willingness to sacrifice some ocean ecosystems to drill for very modest amounts of oil. Was that setting the bar for KGL? Nuke subsidies, coal subsidies. The rumors swirl and the tension builds.

I'm beginning to feel like we are all that teenage girl in a horror movie who keeps proceeding down the steps even though her roommate has been murdered and the light is out. Or perhaps we're more like Charlie Brown taking another run at the football. Regardless of which of my overwrought metaphors you prefer, it's getting frustrating. I suspect that the lack of a public draft reflects a lot of last minute wrangling behind the scenes, but it is truly time to raise the curtain and let us all in on the act.

I'm going to operate on the assumption that this is a bill that will move the needle on climate change until I see details in black and white that show evidence to the contrary. I'm going to believe that because I think the alternative is not realistic and the Senators working on this legislation understand the urgency of the issue well enough to know that there is a limit to the horse trading that can go on when the laws of physics are in conflict with the political will of our leaders.

So, Senators. Show your cards. It's time to debate this thing and force your colleagues to take a stand. It's true there's an election coming up but, honestly, that's always true. If you let the Right Wing fringe, climate deniers and corporate profiteers run our energy policy and dictate the message in the election, you are doing something wrong. Carpe Diem. Now is the time for all good [people] to come to the aid of their country. Go for it. Let's do this. Let's roll. Bring it. Insert other cliches of urgency and resolve here.

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