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Only Baby Steps

What does it mean when a relentlessly optimistic article only makes you more cynical?

Meet the pied piper of one of the most exciting green grassroots uprisings to hit the U.S. in years: Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels (D).

He's managed to get roughly 300 mayors nationwide -- from the Northwest to the deep South and everywhere in between -- to agree that it's a good idea for U.S. cities to meet or beat Kyoto Protocol targets for reducing greenhouse-gas emissions, despite the Bush administration's rejection of the treaty.

... Granted, the U.S. Mayors Climate Protection Agreement is non-binding, so cities could climb aboard the bandwagon but not follow through on meeting the targets. But the fact that there's a bandwagon at all is noteworthy ...

Mayors of major cities are hardly what I would call "grassroots." They may be lower on the totem pole than Presidents or Senators, but they're still part of the ruling elite. And if the best they can do is a non-binding agreement, we're in trouble. It's as if it was 1945, and we were talking about how much progress we'd made by sending a whole 20 soldiers to the war in Europe.


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