|Republican Former EPA Administrators (via Wikipedia Commons)|
Not too many years ago, there was serious talk of "cap and trade." For those who missed out, that was WashingtonSpeak for a proposed federal emissions trading system that some believed could lead to reduced carbon emissions - mainly carbon dioxide emissions. Then party polarization set in, with Republicans moderate on climate change issues beset by more conservative candidates. There were other contributing factors.
Not only has talk of "cap and trade" evaporated, but no action on climate change has since been taken by the U.S. Congress. In an August 2013 op-ed in the New York Times, the four former agency heads collaborated on a statement that included:
Climate change puts all our progress and our successes at risk. If we could articulate one framework for successful governance, perhaps it should be this: When confronted by a problem, deal with it. Look at the facts, cut through the extraneous, devise a workable solution and get it done.
We can have both a strong economy and a livable climate. All parties know that we need both. The rest of the discussion is either detail, which we can resolve, or purposeful delay, which we should not tolerate.
Mr. Obama’s plan is just a start. More will be required. But we must continue efforts to reduce the climate-altering pollutants that threaten our planet. The only uncertainty about our warming world is how bad the changes will get, and how soon. What is most clear is that there is no time to waste.
While there is greater concern in the Republican party for the effect immigration reform might have upon future electorates, it is possible that some in the party do not wish to be identified with an antiscience perspective. The latter, clearly antithetical to a pro-business, pro-technology view, similarly puts basic science funding at risk.
Shown in the photos are Christine Todd Whitman, William Ruckelshaus, William Reilly and Lee M. Thomas.