Green Hero of the Week: Bobby Rush

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07/02/2009 1:13 PM |

759f/1246554483-bobbyrush.jpgThe most depressing thing I’ve read today is this account of how the House was able to pass (by seven votes) an important but hopelessly inadequate climate change bill last week. Short version: every single Democrat who voted for the bill did so only on the condition of concessions to the biggest industry currently polluting/employing his district.

And then, just as you’re reading about a Democrat from Virginia selling the farm away to the coal industry*, and wondering whether turning swing states blue is even really worth it, you get to this graf:

Liberal Democrats got a piece, too. Representative Bobby Rush, Democrat of Illinois, withheld his support for the bill until a last-minute accord was struck to provide nearly $1 billion for energy-related jobs and job training for low-income workers and new subsidies for making public housing more energy-efficient.

It’s worth noting: Bobby Rush’s constituency is the South Side of Chicago. Anyone complaining that going green is prohibitively expensive should look to the greenest big city in America. (It’d be nice if that city’s green brigade also focused not just on energy but on urban farming to break up the food-industrial complex, which makes bad food cheaper for poor people to eat, which makes us fat, which makes healthcare more expensive, et cetera. But that’s another green hero for another time.)

* Warning: it is just as well that the linked-to (Elizabeth) Kolbert Report is subscriber-only, for it is even more depressing than the Times piece.