Global Warming: From Campaign Pass to Passing Mention

A roller coaster sits in the Atlantic Ocean after the Fun Town pier was destroyed by Superstorm Sandy on November 1, 2012 in Seaside Heights, NJ. Photograph by Mark Wilson/Getty Image

Here at Bloomberg Businessweek, we have offered some blunt coverage lately on the topic of global warming, which was MIA during President Barack Obama’s debates with Republican Mitt Romney. During Obama’s victory speech last night (full transcript here), it finally came up: “We want our children to live in an America that isn’t burdened by debt, that isn’t weakened by inequality, that isn’t threatened by the destructive power of a warming planet.”

OK, not very specific or forceful. With Republicans still firmly in control of the House of Representatives and debate on the climate polarized by ideological passion that often borders on hysteria, the chances that the U.S. will take bold action on this front remain slim. Still, if political leaders and voters want to consider a reasonable potential agenda, we’ve got one.

This is not official magazine policy. It’s a set of sober, debatable ideas offered by Nat Keohane of the Environmental Defense Fund, an activist group with a proven history of seeking collaboration across political lines and, especially, with industry. Keohane is a former Obama aide. We ran his memo to the next president the other day, and it’s well worth considering, now that we’ve reelected a man who is at least again ready to allude to the issue in a speech.

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