Editorial: Climate change too hot to handle; political impasse imperils planet

Lexington Herald-LeaderJuly 12, 2012 

In 2008, Republican presidential candidate John McCain vowed to lead on climate change and said: "We stand warned by serious and credible scientists across the world that time is short and the dangers are great."

At that time, there was bipartisan support for a market-based approach to curbing emissions that are heating up the atmosphere and oceans.

In 2005, then-Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney signed onto a cap-and-trade pact among Northeastern states to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Top Republicans were among those who saw economic benefits in the technological retooling that would be required to combat climate change.

So what happened?

Denying climate change became a political litmus test for Republicans, Democrats took a dive on the issue and it has all but disappeared from the political radar.

Weather has joined politics and religion as topics you don't bring up in polite company without risking an ideological firefight. What had been a thoughtful bipartisan discussion has fractured along the all too familiar political divide.

Meanwhile, we're experiencing — at a high cost in dollars and lives — the extreme weather that climate scientists predicted. (Scientists are loathe to pin any one weather event to human-made changes in climate but say the trend of extreme and violent weather is a preview of what global warming will bring.)

Read the full editorial at kentucky.com.

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