One of the most damning indictments of the United States Congress's irresponsible inaction on the issue of global climate change is the refusal by leaders of the House of Representatives to schedule a hearing on the issue. That changes Wednesday, when the Energy and Power Subcommittee of the Energy and Commerce Committee holds a hearing on what it is calling "The Obama Administration's Climate Change Policies and Activities." And while the hearing has all the trappings of a well-orchestrated attack on the President's climate plan, it will be in public and offers at least some possibility of a reasoned discussion of the issue.
Certainly the stories over the last several months of what many are calling scientific near-certainty of the impact of human behavior on climate change has raised awareness and a sense of urgency. That hasn't always persuaded politicians, but there are more and more conservative voices supporting a market-based carbon tax approach. This hearing could advance that option. At least it's a start.