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Starting a Fire

Utilities cut support for climate-change deniers.

Fortnightly Magazine - October 2009

Air Act as long as there’s a chance Congress will enact climate legislation. But Senators who now are considering the legislation don’t want to give their opponents ammunition on the campaign trail, so they’re reluctant to enact strong, unambiguous policy without clear support from voters. That support never will arrive, especially with America’s leaders delaying and dissembling, and with professional skeptics spreading distrust and disinformation.

We can end this right now. By following the examples of Exelon, PG&E and PNM—by calling for a bankable climate policy and cutting off support for the opponents of that policy—utilities and financial institutions can clarify the issue for lawmakers.

When it comes to climate change, all the melting permafrost and disappearing polar bears in the world won’t turn public opinion. We are the equivalent of the Cuyahoga River. The fire has already started. It’s time to stoke the blaze.