Electing Climate Action

Barbara Boxer (D-CA)

The Democratic Congressional victories are likely to provide new momentum for the U.S. to finally act on climate change (see "Warm Planet, Cool Ideas," feature, July/August 2006). Three newly empowered Senators—Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) and Joseph Lieberman (I-CT) sent a letter to President Bush November 15 urging him to work with them to "signal to the world that global warming legislation is on the way." The group said they "have not been satisfied with the level of U.S. participation in the international negotiations [such as the international global warming conference then going on in Kenya] or in reducing our own domestic greenhouse gas emissions." At the Nairobi conference, UN Secretary-General Koffi Annan declared that countries denying global warming’s reality are "out of step" and "out of time." In response, U.S. negotiator Paula Dobriansky claimed that the U.S. was actually a climate leader with "groundbreaking initiatives."

—Jim Motavalli