The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release
Contact: Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167

Senators' Global Warming Proposal


Sens. John Kerry, Joseph Lieberman and Lindsey Graham yesterday had a
news conference where they talked about a "framework" for legislation
on global warming. Said Lieberman: "You remember the artist formerly
known as Prince? This is the market-based system for punishing
polluters previously known as 'cap and trade.'"

Wysham is a fellow of the Institute for Policy Studies. She is a content adviser to the new short film "The Story of Cap and Trade" .

Wysham said today: "While tens of thousands of concerned global
citizens are gathered in Copenhagen, grappling with the staggering
impacts already being felt by the poorest people globally due to
climate change, the best our Senate can do is reiterate support for a
target that will get America nowhere near what is required of us to
achieve climate stability. Instead of leading, we are surrendering to
what is most expedient for our most heavily subsidized industries --
the fossil fuel and nuclear industries.

"The [senators'] statement suggests strong support for nuclear
power. The amount of money and energy required to store the carbon
emitted by coal -- if the technology is ever proven -- and nuclear
power would be far better spent on investments in energy resources we
know will be with us forever -- namely, wind, solar, and other
non-fossil and non-nuclear-based energy resources.

"The statement also claims it supports the inclusion of a
significant quantity of 'verifiable offsets' -- which is, according to
the U.S. Government Accountability Office, an oxymoron. Carbon offsets
are akin to 'subprime mortgages': They will drive speculators to invest
in an invisible, highly corruptible, unverifiable market while doing
nothing to stabilize our climate.

"Finally, the statement disparages the role of government
regulation and claims that a 'market approach' is preferable. If ever
there was a time to not place all of our faith in Wall Street traders
to solve our nation's problems, this is it."

Wysham recently wrote the piece "Cap and Trade Should Go the Way of the DoDo Before We Do."

A debate is being held this evening in Copenhagen on "cap and trade" at 7 p.m. local time (1 p.m. ET) with:

* Dirk Forrister, now managing director of Natsource LLC, an
environmental fund management and advisory firm and previously chairman
of the White House Climate Change Task Force in the Clinton
administration and the energy program manager at Environmental Defense

* Michael Dorsey, assistant professor in Dartmouth College's
Environmental Studies Program and the director of the college's Climate
Justice Research Project

For live video, see here

A nationwide consortium, the Institute for Public Accuracy (IPA) represents an unprecedented effort to bring other voices to the mass-media table often dominated by a few major think tanks. IPA works to broaden public discourse in mainstream media, while building communication with alternative media outlets and grassroots activists.