One of the things most on my mind this week is the climate bill that just passed the Congress (in a week full of legislative accomplishments emerging from the deadlock)—officially the Inflation Reduction Act, with elements addressing health care and taxes as well, but notably the biggest federal financial commitment ever on climate.
There’s much that could be said, and much that has been said, but I’m particularly struck by the wide range of comments from the “climate-concerned” community. Some are enthusiastic, some cautiously pleased, and some are outraged; one wag even called it “a kernel of corn in a barnful of shit.”
I don’t see it that way. Nor does climate hawk Dr Michael Mann, who observed that “It is a good day, let’s not make any bones about that. This is, by far, the most aggressive climate legislation — in fact, the only meaningful climate legislation that has ever passed the U.S. Senate.
“Let’s be clear: this isn’t the solution. It’s not like we’ve _solved_ the climate crisis. There’s a whole lot more work that’s left to be done…there’s a lot more work to be done, and there are some things in the bill that some of us wish weren’t there.” But the bill “represents significant progress.”
No question that we’ve got a long way to go. The question is whether we want to let the perfect be the enemy of the good. I say no; let’s cheer this as a pretty significant accomplishment in the current political climate—arguably the best we could have gotten, given Manchin and Sinema. And…
DEMOCRACY—USE IT OR LOSE IT!
The bill is a reminder that elections matter, and that if we want to get better, then we’re going to have to do better. That means, imho, that the Dems need to run HARD on the issues that supermajorities of Americans care about—like guns and Roe—and take both the House and the Senate in November.
Imagine what might happen if all of us did all we could—whether phone or live canvassing, campaign contributions, talking friends and family out of apathy…and even more of us running for office! (A great example of “think global, act local!”)