Josh Kraushaar's post on Capitol Hill Insiders | Latest updates on Sulia
This is why bringing up climate change is so politically toxic -- beyond the platitudes
"Tackling climate change means setting in motion a tectonic, disruptive shift to the 150-year-old energy economy that will eventually shift those ratios. This daunting challenge will take decades to achieve, and it will require technological breakthroughs not yet on the horizon. It will mean that fossil-fuel industries—particularly coal, and the people who work to produce it—will almost certainly take a big hit.
And no matter how much the United States does on its own to cut emissions, it won’t be enough to stave off the most devastating effects of climate change, unless other economies also agree to difficult cuts. That particularly means China, which is now the world’s largest emitter, and India, which is projected to triple its emissions in the coming decades. Changing the climate’s trajectory will involve brokering historically consequential economic treaties with those nations.
Along the way, yes, new jobs and economic opportunities will probably arise in some sectors of the economy. If the world’s largest economies do forge a binding climate treaty, it will spur a race to create those clean technologies, and the countries and companies that win the race will see great profits.
That’s an incredibly difficult message to sell to the American public. But if there’s any moment in which Obama might be able to do it, it’s now, particularly in the wake of superstorm Sandy and last year’s record drought, which devastated U.S. crops and contributed to deadly wildfires.