The centre cannot hold, and that\’s the good news in the United States these days. Quietly, doggedly, cities, regions, counties and states have refused to march to the Bush administration\’s drum when it comes to climate change, the environment and the war. Some of the recent changes are so sweeping that they will probably drag the nation along with them – notably efforts by Vermont, Massachusetts and California to set higher vehicle emissions standards and generally treat climate change as an environmental problem that can be addressed by regulation. The Bush administration has notoriously dragged its feet on doing anything about climate change, and it will now be dragged along by the states, themselves prodded forward by citizens.

The US is a federal state! Amazing finding, innit?

7 thoughts on “Gasp!”

  1. “Amazing finding, innit?”

    No, but very reassuring. Something we could learn from. A federal UK with an English Parliament would be a start.

  2. California could put a 2 dollar tax on gasoline tgmorrow…yet they dont do it..
    they prefer to tax detroit…

  3. “they prefer to tax detroit…”

    It’s my winning strategy in SimCity: put up taxes on scummy areas and lo! all the poor people move out and the tax revenue goes up.

    Not sure if it works in real life..

  4. What this rather breathlessly laudatory article fails to mention is that Vermont and Massachusetts are two of the most highly taxed states in the nation, with California not far behind.

    Due to regressive policies such as this in all three states, their residents and businesses ave been decamping to places such as Nevada, New Mexico, Arizona, and the Carolinas.

    So, yes, states can indeed attempt to ‘regulate’ as much as they like; and their citizens can, and do, move elsewhere–thus weakening said state–when such policies become burdensome.

    And THAT, I submit, is the true virtue of the federal system, long may it last.

  5. I read this one line

    ‘Detroit is full of community gardens and experiments with local economies. . . . .’

    and I laughed until something gave way, around the 4th rib.

    Rebecca has obviously never been anywhere near Detroit. but wrote this based upon one of the City’s relentlessly-upbeat news releases. Let me translate – as one who actually goes to Detroit from time to time:

    ‘community gardens’ = empty lots, created by the vast flight of middle-class population, whose abandoned homes eventually either burn or cave in (when too dilapidated even to be used as a crack house anymore) and the odd neighbour or two that’s left plants some tomatoes in the rubble.

    If you’ve seen the movie ‘I am Legend’, you’ve seen what large areas of Detroit look like.

    ‘experiments with local economies . . . ‘ = switching from heroin to methamphetamine. The only areas of the Detroit economy that are healthy are the moving business and the demolition business. Detroit is so over-taxed, under-resourced, corrupt and decrepit that the only thing that could improve it would be a large delivery of Caterpillar D9 bulldozers, to turn the whole thing into a park – starting at the City-County building.

    You’ll forgive me if I don’t set too much store by the rest of what she wrote.



  6. Charming thought, that Taxachusetts and other liberal leftist states are going to lead our nation to act against global warming, even as the sun remains ‘spotless’ for more than a year TOO LONG now, and no scientist can tell us even approximately when the next sunspot cycle will start.

    The last time there were no sunspots for an extended period of time, crops failed and generations starved. BECAUSE OF HARD COLD WINTERS, that lasted too long and kept the world too cold for agriculture in the traditional areas.

    It won’t be long before we’ll need all the anthropogenic global warming we can get.

  7. “Some of the recent changes are so sweeping that they will probably drag the nation along with them – notably efforts by Vermont, Massachusetts and California to set higher vehicle emissions ”

    Bollocks. The only things those states are dragging are their own knuckles. California’s attempt to regulate emissions standards has been knocked down in court.

    Do these people have editors?


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