Stephen Stromberg: Does President Obama really care about global warming?

Environmentalists gathered in Charlotte, N.C. to watch Obama’s second nominating convention can agree that the president and his party are a lot better than the Republicans.

“Compared to the other guys, they look great,” Stephen Smith of the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy said at a gathering of clean-energy activists and businesspeople on Monday night.

Attendees at the packed event remarked on how few Republicans showed up to a similar party in Tampa before last week’s Republican National Convention. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) got a few cheers when he called for Obama’s reelection.

But arguing that Obama is merely better than Republicans on climate change is a nasty sort of compliment. The president’s is a record of dashed hopes. The man who promised in 2008 to stop the rise of the oceans put health-care and financial reform before capping carbon dioxide emissions. By 2010, a Senate climate bill died as much by presidential neglect as anything else. Environmentalists were “shell-shocked,” said Smith.

But if Obama were reelected, he would have another opportunity for some big policymaking — and it is possible that good energy policy could figure into it, if he cared to press for it. By early 2013, the near-simultaneous expiration of the Bush tax rates and the activation of automatic spending cuts will force Congress to rewrite tax and spending policy, one way or another, and some green-technology advocates are looking forward to it.


2 responses to “Stephen Stromberg: Does President Obama really care about global warming?

  1. When will people learn that popular concerns help get political candidates elected? Tell the people what they want to hear.

  2. Four more years of economic malaise should make the environmentAlists happy.

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