Obama Assembles Climate Dream Team
President-Elect Obama's pick of two of the very best — Jane Lubchenco [search] and John Holden [search] — for important positions in his administration, seems to portend a major focus upon climate by the incoming administration. Early indications are Obama is going to try to seriously address climate change [ark | moreark] which is very good. I would expect a major climate initiative as part of a broader stimulus and energy package in the first 100 days. What remains to be seen is whether Obama will propose just what is politically palatable, or seek global cooperative international policies sufficient to actually reduce emissions sharply in the short, mid and long terms.
A dear colleague just asked why I have not yet praised Obama for these appointments. Good question, that left me to ponder. I guess two decades of government inaction on climate change have sullied me that any government can possibly purses actions on climate change that are strong and fast enough. I believe strongly that change will come from the people or not at all. The oil oligarchy's power is still immense, and Obama's ability to put in a carbon tax — what is really needed — is limited further by the recession. Climate change is one of those issues not easily addressed by one leader.
I will be more than willing to congratulate Obama for actual emissions reduced. Given recent backsliding by Chancellor Merkel in Germany and Prime Minister Rudd in Australia after lots of initial excitement over their climate policy, I think skepticism is warranted. At this point Obama's climate policy is just electoral rhetoric and staffing, and it remains to be seen how ambitious the actual policy will really be. When a real policy package with even preliminary deadlines and targets is introduced, EcoInternet will be amongst the first to praise or protest its contents. Let's hope the Climate Dream Team has the power to do what must be done.