"There's a new feeling in the air about global warming. It's a sense that the Bush administration may finally be held to account, by the media and by Congress, for four years of obstruction and denial while a planetary problem steadily worsened".
....or so writes Chris Mooney in an article posted in American Prospect on 20 June (here).
And it does look to be the case that an amendement to pending energy legilsation passed by the Senate on 21 June, which calls for voluntary reductions in some emissions and spending money to promote technology to reduce pollution is not altogether in the wrong direction (see here).
But is Mooney writing more in hope than on the basis of the evidence? My impressions from various sources (including a brief conversation with a provost at a major US university which channels very large sums for basic scientific research from the federal government) is that - from evolutionary theory to planetary physics - the battle to keep the Enlightenment alive in the United States is still steadily being lost.
Could the likely consequences of the policies of the present administration and many of its forseeable successors prompt enough Americans to wake up?
Or could we see more darkness visible? One doesn't have to look far to see what happens when modern societies reject rationality.
As Real Climate so usefully anatomises (22 June), the Wall St Journal is very much at it.