Last night, 30 members of the Senate Democratic caucus stayed up all night to make their case in support of climate change legislation. The Senators took turns throughout the night and early morning addressing the chamber on the perils of man-made global warming, its effects on states, the current dismal status of science in this country, and how we can decarbonize without stalling the economy.
The goal of the all-nighter was not to introduce new legislation; rather, to lay the groundwork for future endeavors. Legislation on climate change has not been attempted since a failed 2010 bill that would have instituted a cap-and-trade on greenhouse emissions. But to what end was last night a success?
Noticeably absent were all but one Republican Senator (Inhofe, R-OK), who was not invited to the event but took the opportunity nonetheless to voice his skepticism on climate change. Other Republicans stated that they would have happily participated…if they were invited.
Honestly, I don’t know what, if anything, this will accomplish. In my short tenure with the government I’ve learned that everything happens at a snails pace (it’s worse than you can imagine). However, it’s moments like these that are necessary to bolster interest and support on an issue that we can no longer ignore.