Senate Farm Chief Wants Climate Bill 'Off Ramp' in Case Other Nations Don't Cut Emissions

highway off ramp photo

photo: Chris Chan via flickr

OK. Here's exactly the type of thinking we don't need regarding combatting climate change: Senate Agricultural Committee Chariman Tom Harkin (D-IA) has been quoted by Reuters as saying that the Senate climate bill needs an "off ramp" provision to allow the US to relax its greenhouse gas reduction commitments if other nations don't live up to theirs:Harkin said,

If other countries don't join us...hey, we're off the ramp.

Hardly US Leadership...
So basically, we enact legislation and policies to combat climate change because we know its the right thing to do. And we want to lead the world on this because, well, the world tends to follow what the US does (for better and often times worse).

Other nations don't quite live up to their commitments -- not like when it comes to playing nice with the international community, on a wide range of issues, the US itself has done that very well recently -- so rather than redoubling our efforts to do what we believe to be the right thing to do, helping other reach their own commitments, and generally being that beacon of light so wistfully evoked in every political speech made since the late 18th century, Harkin proposes taking the off ramp.

Congratulations on lowest common denominator thinking there Senator Harkin. It's that sort of mindset -- 'we won't do anything unless you do something...but, wait, you won't do something unless we do something' -- that leads to a guaranteed result of inaction.

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