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Climate Politics Heating Up
Sunflower Electric Cooperative's coal-fired power in Holcomb, Kansas. (AP)

Sunflower Electric Cooperative's coal-fired power plant in Holcomb, Kansas, seen in 2007. (AP)

President Obama came to Washington promising to break the gridlock on climate change. He claimed an historic victory last week, when the first bill ever to cap carbon emissions passed the House on Friday.

But the celebrations were short lived. Critics, left and right, say the bill is a mess: that it will weigh down a struggling economy. That it’s so riddled with giveaways that it does little to address global warming.

So what exactly is in the bill? Will it stand up in the Senate? And what does it mean for a warming planet?

This hour, On Point: unpacking the climate bill.

You can join the conversation. Tell us what you think — here on this page, on Twitter, and on Facebook.

Guests:

Joining us from Washington is John Broder, a reporter for The New York Times. He’s been covering the climate bill in Congress, and his piece in today’s paper takes a close look at the horse trading behind the House bill’s passage.

From New York we’re joined by Elizabeth Kolbert. She’s a staff writer for The New Yorker, where she reports extensively on climate change.  Her most recent piece, “The Catastrophist,” profiles climate scientist and activist James Hansen.

And with us in our studio is Robert Stavins. A top environmental economist, he’s a professor of business and government at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and director of its Environmental Economics Program. He also co-chairs the Harvard Project on International Climate Agreements. His forthcoming book is “Post-Kyoto International Climate Policy.”

More links:

Climate blogger Joseph Romm says passing the House bill involved some real twisting of arms. The Wall Street Journal’s “Environmental Capital” blog explains how the bill helps green building efforts. And the environmental news site Grist reports that efficiency efforts were weakened as the bill was hashed out.

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ONPOINT
TODAY
Dec 18, 2014
This handout photo from the Twitter account of Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz. shows Alan Gross arriving at Andrews Air Force Base, Md., Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014. The US and Cuba have agreed to re-establish diplomatic relations and open economic and travel ties, marking a historic shift in U.S. policy toward the communist island after a half-century of enmity dating back to the Cold War, American officials said Wednesday. (AP)

Following months of secret talks the US will restore full diplomatic relations with Cuba after more than fifty years.

Dec 18, 2014
A poster for the movie "The Interview" is carried away by a worker after being pulled from a display case at a Carmike Cinemas movie theater, Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014, in Atlanta. (AP)

A big Sony hack gets weirder and wider. And Hollywood and Homeland Security are on edge.

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Dec 17, 2014
Germany's Andre Schuerrle, left, celebrates scoring his side's 6th goal as Brazil's goalkeeper Julio Cesar reacts during the World Cup semifinal soccer match between Brazil and Germany at the Mineirao Stadium in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, Tuesday, July 8, 2014.  Germany went on to win the World Cup championship later that month. (AP)

From the Sochi Olympics and Ray Rice to Lebron’s return to Cleveland, we’ll unpack a big year in sports.

 
Dec 17, 2014
Relatives of a victim of a Taliban attack in a school, mourn over her lifeless body at a hospital in Peshawar, Pakistan, Tuesday, Dec. 16, 2014. Taliban gunmen stormed a military-run school in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar on Tuesday, killing and wounding scores, officials said, in the highest-profile militant attack to hit the troubled region in months. (AP)

The Taliban take responsibility for killing more than 100 Pakistani schoolchildren. We ask why there, why now.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
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Wednesday, Dec 10, 2014

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