Americans are worried about pollution -- oil trains running through their towns, fracking in their neighborhoods, coal dust in their air. They're worried about what the future will look like for their children if carbon pollution continues unchecked.
The vision of a cleaner, more sustainable future is a powerful force. Fossil fuel companies spent heavily in the 2012 elections. Despite that massive investment, Americans swept clean energy and environmental champions into office around the nation.
Those who say we needn't care much about warming because it's a cyclical, natural phenomenon miss the point entirely. The issue isn't whether or not there's cyclical global warning every so-many tens of thousands of years or even eons.
Coal industry lobbyists and House Republicans have chosen to spend the anniversary of Superstorm Sandy trying to block climate action and help the polluters who release the largest amount of global warming pollution in our nation.
Since you can't build a coal plant overnight -- they typically take around five years -- there wasn't much the country could do. Well maybe they couldn't ramp up fast, but they must be planning a wave of new coal plants now, right? Nope.
As China's economy has grown, so has its consumption of coal, which has increased by an average of nine percent per year. By comparison, average coal demand growth for the rest of the world has been about one percent per year.
The largest mining company on the planet announced a few days ago that it was making a major investment in replacing one of its coal export facilities in Queensland because the climate-induced increased frequency of hurricanes made it necessary.