Invest, Divest and Prosper

It has been a busy news week, what with voting rights, gay marriage and Paula Deen. Even so, it’s remarkable how little attention the news media gave to President Obama’s new “climate action plan.” Discount, if you like, the terrific speech he gave when unveiling the proposal; this is, nonetheless, a very big deal. For this time around, Mr. Obama wasn’t touting legislation we know won’t pass. The new plan is, instead, designed to rely on executive action. This means that, unlike earlier efforts to address climate change, it can bypass the anti-environmentalists who control the House of Representatives.

Republicans realize this, and they’re stamping their feet in frustration. All they can do, it seems, is fulminate (and perhaps scare the administration into backing down). Interestingly, however, right now they don’t seem eager to attack climate science, maybe because that would make them sound unreasonable (which they are). Instead, they’re going for the economic angle, denouncing the Obama administration for waging a “war on coal” that will destroy jobs.

And you know what? They’re half-right. The new Obama plan is, to some extent, a war on coal — because reducing our use of coal is, necessarily, going to be part of any serious effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. But making war on coal won’t destroy jobs. In fact, serious new regulation of greenhouse emissions could be just what our economy needs.

Read full text at The New York Times