The passage of the climate bill by the House was both historic and an initial step toward combating global warming and building a "green economy":
The passage of the House bill on Friday night was an important, if tentative, victory for the president, becoming the first time either chamber of Congress had approved a mandatory ceiling on the gases linked to global warming.
...[President Obama] acknowledged that the initial targets for reducing emissions of heat-trapping gases set by the House bill were quite modest and would probably not satisfy the governments of other countries or many environmental groups. But he said he hoped to build on those early targets in fashioning a more robust program in the future as part of his administration’s efforts to move the nation from an economy based on fossil fuels toward one built on renewable energy sources.
Paul Krugman, in "Betraying the Planet," commented that to vote against this bill is to commit treason against the planet and betray our future security:
Temperature increases on the scale predicted by the M.I.T. researchers and others would create huge disruptions in our lives and our economy. As a recent authoritative U.S. government report points out, by the end of this century New Hampshire may well have the climate of North Carolina today, Illinois may have the climate of East Texas, and across the country extreme, deadly heat waves — the kind that traditionally occur only once in a generation — may become annual or biannual events.
Despite warnings by the vast majority of scientists, there remain those who are still in denial for ideological reasons:
Indeed, if there was a defining moment in Friday’s debate, it was the declaration by Representative Paul Broun of Georgia that climate change is nothing but a “hoax” that has been “perpetrated out of the scientific community.” I’d call this a crazy conspiracy theory, but doing so would actually be unfair to crazy conspiracy theorists. After all, to believe that global warming is a hoax you have to believe in a vast cabal consisting of thousands of scientists — a cabal so powerful that it has managed to create false records on everything from global temperatures to Arctic sea ice.
Joining Representative Broun in opposition was House Republican leader John Boehner (upper left), who delayed the bill with an hour-long speech, calling it "a bureaucratic nightmare." After being asked why he delayed the vote, Boehner said, "Hey, people deserve to know what's in this pile of sh-t."
Remember, this is a bill with modest aims. But it's still too much for John Boehner, who refers to legislation on the most important environmental issue of our time in scatological terms. That's today's Republican leadership in action.