Down the LineNovember 3, 2009
How is it that when Angela Merkel signals that “we all know we have no time to lose” on climate change the polarity in our congress somehow becomes all the more apparent?
While the entire Democratic side gave those remarks a standing ovation, most Republicans — including key swing voters, such as Sen. Richard G. Lugar (Ind.) — remained in their seats. When Merkel added that curbing greenhouse gas emissions would spur growth in “innovative” jobs worldwide, the same partisan divide marked lawmakers’ reaction.
I can understand how there might be objections over the jobs question, as policy differences map roughly onto party differences. But on the question of the magnitude of the problem, why is there an equal political split there? Shouldn’t that cut across parties differently? Are we correct to infer that the differences aren’t about prioritization of policies, but rather about agreement on the climatic state of affairs? I find that very hard to believe.
I have no answers for my questions, except that if ever there was evidence of politicization in the climate change discussion, this is it.