Writing on the NY Times website (h/t to Climate Progress for the link), esteemed foreign policy expert Dr. Kurt Campbell suggests that failure to address global warming will go down as the Bush administration's worst international legacy. Campbell's new think tank, the Center for National Security Studies, just released a report seeking to serve as a wake-up call on the large-scale effects of our inaction; in assessing the last seven years, he cites some of the issues we've been covering in the process:
Meanwhile, there are literally thousands of spontaneous efforts across America aimed at reducing carbon footprints at the state and local level, among progressive business and finance groups, and on university campuses. The people are beginning to mobilize while Rome burns (oil and petroleum), literally.
We find ourselves slightly more optimistic regarding the nature of state and local efforts-- both coming off of Power Shift, and in wake of the historic role that state innovation has played in rousing the nation to meaningful action. To be sure, even the present State Department has noted this much; its report to the United Nations, in helping eviscerate the claim that state actions are preempted by foreign policy concerns, essentially recognizes and highlights the power of our federalist response to this challenge.
Campbell is probably right about the irreparable legacy of the current administration. But if current trends continue, and the courts play their proper role in resisting industry pleas to excessively curtail bold efforts at finding meaningful solutions, then rather than having witnessed the burning of Rome, we'll have witnessed the full flowering of our Founders' creed.