Bad for Copenhagen?

Let our journalists help you make sense of the noise: Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter and get a recap of news that matters.


I recently was chatting with one of the folks who run Organizing for America, the offshoot of the Barack Obama presidential campaign that is now housed within the Democratic Party, and I mentioned that I thought OFA had come late to the climate change party—meaning that it had only moved to mobilize its millions of supporters in support of the cap and trade bill a few days before the legislation hit the House floor this past Friday. I got no argument. And it’s even arguable that the Obama-backed Waxman-Markey bill barely passed (219-212) partly because the White House did not put much of its organizing muscle behind the measure.

Sure, a win is a win. But this narrow victory will certainly embolden the bill’s opponents for the next—and more difficult—round: the Senate, which may or may not take up similar legislation in the fall.

This close win might also make life more difficult for the US official whose job it is to save the planet: Todd Stern, the Obama administration’s climate envoy. He’s now preparing for the Copenhagen conference, scheduled for December, where a successor to the Kyoto climate change accord is supposed to be negotiated. One of Stern’s big jobs is to persuade China, India, and other developing nations to cut back on their rising emissions of greenhouse gasses. But to have a chance of doing that he has to show them that the United States, the number-one emitter in historic and per capita terms, is serious about reducing its own emissions. Foreign governments looking for a sign of US seriousness could take a 219-212 vote (for a bill that will not reduce emissions as quickly as some scientists call for) as a mixed signal.

For more on Stern and the tough position he’s in, see my just-posted article on him.

You can follow David Corn’s postings and media appearances via Twitter.

THE TRUTH IS...

what drives Mother Jones' team of 50-plus journalists. The truth is powerful, as evidenced by how hard those with something to hide, or profit to gain, seek to discredit it. The truth, stated boldly and reported meticulously, is what draws so many readers to Mother Jones.

And the truth is, going into the final 4 days of the year we still needed to raise $TK to hit our $350,000 goal and start 2021 on track. It's nerve-wracking, wondering if the big spike we normally see at the end of December is going to be another thing that doesn't go as planned in 2020, or worse, if, now that Donald Trump is set to leave the White House (for longer than a taxpayer-funded golf trip to a property he owns), folks might be pulling back from fighting for the truth and a democracy and think the hard work is done.

It's not, and if you can right now, please consider a year-end donation to support our team's fearless nonprofit journalism so we can close that big fundraising gap and finish the year strong, ready for all that's ahead in 2021. Whether you can give $5 or $500, it all matters in keeping us charging hard, and we'd be grateful.

payment methods

THE TRUTH IS...

what drives Mother Jones' team of 50-plus journalists. The truth is powerful, as evidenced by how hard those with something to hide, or profit to gain, seek to discredit it. The truth, stated boldly and reported meticulously, is what draws so many readers to Mother Jones.

And the truth is, going into the final 4 days of the year we still needed to raise $TK to hit our $350,000 goal and start 2021 on track. It's nerve-wracking, wondering if the big spike we normally see at the end of December is going to be another thing that doesn't go as planned in 2020, or worse, if, now that Donald Trump is set to leave the White House (for longer than a taxpayer-funded golf trip to a property he owns), folks might be pulling back from fighting for the truth and a democracy and think the hard work is done.

It's not, and if you can right now, please consider a year-end donation to support our team's fearless nonprofit journalism so we can close that big fundraising gap and finish the year strong, ready for all that's ahead in 2021. Whether you can give $5 or $500, it all matters in keeping us charging hard, and we'd be grateful.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate