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We Are the World

9:55 AM EDT on June 30, 2009

Fallout continues in the wake of last Friday's narrow passage of the Waxman-Markey climate bill, otherwise known as the American Clean Energy and Security Act, in the House of Representatives. Paul Krugman can't believe 212 reps voted against it, while Matthew Yglesias points to a conservative faction that has branded eight Republicans who helped pass it as "traitors."

MJ4EVR1.jpgGlobal devastation: Not as catchy as "Billie Jean."

Then there are those who say Waxman-Markey isn't enough to stem the imminent threats posed by climate change. Grist reports that MoveOn.org may launch a campaign to have the bill strengthened, and on the Streetsblog Network, Robin Chase of Network Musings compares the massive and sustained public outpouring surrounding the death of Michael Jackson to the relatively meager attention given to an alarming new climate study. MIT researchers say global temperatures could rise by nearly 10 degrees by 2100 -- more than doubling prior predictions. Writes Chase:

There is little about the world we live in and rely upon today that will be familiar or viable in that world just 90 years from now. Water, agriculture, land use, species -- our survivability -- will be in a totally different territory. Really, not just metaphorically.

We need this reality to get at least as much attention as Michael Jackson's death. It should motivate more tweets, more street action, more conversations, more pondering about what life means, makes it worth living, legacies, life potential, and the fate of offspring.

If MJ's death motivated to you spend 4 minutes listening to a song you wouldn't have listened to last week, then email your Senators and tell them the climate change bill before them is far too weak and too slow. Tell them that you'll willing to commit more than $175/year by 2020 in high energy prices (the impact of the House version of the bill), and then start talking with everyone you know.

Also today: Second Avenue Sagas questions the relevance of New York's Straphangers Campaign; DC Bike Examiner wonders if motorist-cyclist conflicts are over-hyped; Carfree Chicago hopes for a transportation commissioner who gets it; and Bicycle Fixation applauds an effort in the UK to encourage cycling among rail passengers.

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