The Wrong Way

So, according to the New York Times, Republicans in the House have drafted their own energy bill. This in and of itself is not shocking - even though congressional republicans have been lagging behind and disorganized in how they approach these things, they're still expected to offer another choice (as in the whole stupid budget thing).

The shocking thing is the content: nuclear power, increased drilling, and nothing to restrict greenhouse gas production. Oh wait that's not shocking at all.

Now, to be fair, their position isn't so ridiculous. Lots of human problems are not solved by direct, large-scale action; some of the time, we just slowly work our way out of the issue. And there are jobs at risk, and the economy is doin' bad still, etc. etc.

But here's the thing. If we look at history, the environment has been one of those things that individual people just can't solve on their own with a little more money from tax cuts. The history of America versus the environment can pretty easily be viewed in terms of regulation equaling success. Without regulation, there's rampant pollution and ecosystem destruction (like clear cutting). With regulation, we're starting to save wetlands, forests, resources - hell, the ozone layer is starting to heal. The simple fact of the matter is that the scale of environmental problems are far above and beyond us individuals.

And that's fine. That's one of the big reasons governments exist as-is - to handle things that are beyond an individual. That's why we need Waxman-Markey bill; it wants to regulate, and it's trying to put us on the right path.

We don't have time to hope the problem works itself out. And we've only got one atmosphere. Time to make the decision, say that it might hurt a little in the short term, but press on down the path we truly know we have to walk. Because once again, these outspoken congressional republicans have offered nothing that can accomplish anything in the kind of time-frame we have.

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