Joe Romm responds at great length to my post on global warming vs. healthcare reform. I think we’re running into a simple disagreement of priority here. Romm is obviously very concerned with climate change. It is his specialty and his focus on the subject makes him more concerned with climate change legislation than with healthcare reform. That’s fine, we’re all entitled to our priorities.
I’m not going to go into great length countering each and every one of Romm’s points. Suffice to say, he – like many commenters here – sees the risk of not tackling climate change as a very real, clear and present danger. He has a great deal of scientific data which shows the possible effects of climate change now and in the future and it’s pretty scary stuff. I completely agree that something should be done, must be done. He also says that he never said healthcare reform shouldn’t be done at all. Likewise, I never said climate change legislation should never be done at all. We both were arguing over which should take priority. Romm seems to have twisted my argument in such a way as to imply that I don’t favor any action at all on climate change. On the contrary, I favor a carbon tax.
However, I don’t think climate change legislation was possible as the first priority and I think tackling it would have almost certainly killed healthcare reform as well. I think it can be done as a second-term, hopefully post-recession piece of legislation and it can be done through the reconciliation process, but not until there’s enough Democrats on board to get 51 votes in the Senate, and I don’t think there are in an election year.