Today Congress returned from a brief Thanksgiving recess for the final three weeks of session. Time is short, so they are expected to take up only a handful of measures: an appropriations package to keep the government running, Bush tax cuts and a nuclear disarmament treaty with Russia. Though energy legislation remains highly unlikely, Obama Administration officials will be representing the U.S. in Cancun this week, hopefully reiterating their commitment to climate action despite gridlock on Capitol Hill.
Sure, there are a bunch of
new folks in Congress who don't even believe that climate change is
happening or that it's due to our carbon emissions. Things were so
bad this year that we're lucky the Lisa
Murkowski was reelected,
Miller was even worse.
Andy Silber is a astrophysicist, engineer, project manager, husband, father, and energy activist living in Seattle. Visit Andy's blog on Sustainable West Seattle. The author's opinions do not necessarily reflect those of the 1Sky campaign.
The lame duck Congress is back at home for the holiday week, but will return in the coming week for the last few weeks of this session. Topics to be discussed include the Bush tax cuts, a nuclear arms treaty with Russia, and a measure to keep funding government programs for the next couple of months. Major energy policy is unlikely to come up in the lame duck, and will need to be bipartisan to pass in the next couple of years, given the composition of the new Congress.
This week, we heard from the U.N. climate chief about impending talks in Mexico, some strong arguments for climate change legislation - from our wallet's perspective -- and learned why a national coal survey is long overdue.
Climate science was the subject of a congressional hearing yesterday in what might have been the
last reasonable discussions on climate science on Capitol Hill for quite awhile. Some used the day to lash out against those who question
the science. Case in point: outgoing representative Bob Inglis (R-SC
The midterm elections have resulted in a less ambitious than anticipated lame duck session of Congress. Members of the House and Senate will return this week to debate the Bush tax cuts, an appropriations bill, and possibly some smaller energy provisions involving natural gas vehicles. New members are in town for orientation as parties sort out new leadership positions and strategy for the coming year.
The world's poorest nations are on the front lines of catastrophic climate change. The recent floods in Pakistan and droughts in Africa are just the most recent examples of how the world's poor are suffering because of our leaders' indifference to the climate crisis. Now that we face a Congress full of climate deniers and shills for big polluters, President Obama must become a true global climate leader to help the world's poorest nations cope with climate chaos.