Climate bill languishes ahead of Copehagen as new poll shows more doubt

As high pressure and sunny skies settle over Colorado for the Thanksgiving holiday – with not a lot of snow on the early-season ski slopes – much higher pressure (and a decidedly stormier sky) is in store for the Obama administration on the global climate change front.

The New York Times Monday reported the administration is struggling on whether to come up with a concrete target for reducing greenhouse gas emissions contributing to global climate change before next month’s United Nations climate change summit in Copenhagen, Denmark.

While the House barely passed its version last summer – setting a reduction target of 17 percent below 2005 levels – the Senate version faces a much tougher fight, and right now is stacked up and stuck behind hotly debated health care reform.

The Senate version calls for a 20 percent reduction, and Sen. John Kerry told the Times Obama can safely set a target of between 17 and 20 percent ahead of Copenhagen, where it was originally hoped the administration would have a climate change bill – complete with cap and trade – in hand before attending.

Meanwhile, the Washington Post Tuesday reported fewer Americans – mostly Republicans – believe in global warming. The Post cites a poll conducted with ABC that shows overall belief in global warming dropped from 80 percent to 72 percent – still a pretty overwhelming majority.

But Republicans (76 percent down to 54) and independents (86 to 71) stopped believing by much gaudier margins than Democrats (92 to 86). Amazing what an increasingly charged political climate and a crushing global recession will do for the public’s environmental perceptions.

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