While Hurricane Sandy (and Mayor Bloomberg’s subsequent endorsement of the president) put climate change on the country’s political radar, it didn’t stay there for long. President Obama has said that he wants to “lead a national conversation on the issue” in the next four years, but as S.E. Cupp points out, the president has more than enough on his plate already. So if not now, when? Even Krystal Ball, a self-described optimist, isn’t feeling confident about when we’re going to see political action on the climate issue. While she thinks we’ll see legislative successes on the fiscal cliff, job growth, and immigration reform:
“…[T]he one issue that I am very pessimistic about is climate change. It was basically dead on arrival [in the first term]…and I think people, when the economy is still tough, it’s very hard to see beyond anything but the immediate pain. As much as these storms have brought some renewed attention, it’s hard for me to see how politically anything real happens in this term.”
There has been a lot of talk about when climate change’s time in the policy spotlight will come. The issue of jobs loomed largest during the election season, but many observers hoped that in a second term, Obama would make climate change policy a priority. Right now, that prospect looks cloudy.