Most of us are relatively happy with the care we get from our doctors. So it's easy to see why Health CARE Reform sounds scary to a lot of people. They think, "I like the health care I get -- why does it need to be reformed?"
It's a very different story when you ask people about their health INSURANCE -- if they can even afford it. It's either getting way too expensive way too quickly (much faster than wages are rising) or it's impossible to afford altogether. So Health INSURANCE Reform sounds like exactly what most of us really need right now.
"Ohhhh, thaaat's what all this is about," somebody who I explained this to on a BART Train exclaimed recently, clearly getting it. "Yes, my health INSURANCE is way too expensive and is covering less and less. We definitely need Health INSURANCE Reform!"
Similarly, a couple of Thanksgivings ago, I had this wonderful encounter with a couple of global warming deniers. They were all in favor of clean energy jobs, freedom from oil, energy efficiency savings -- they can see it, they get how enacting these solutions makes America more secure and our lives better. Climate change, caused by invisible gases, affecting something so big and vague as the climate of the entire planet -- notso much.
That said, it's definitely appropriate that Senators Kerry and Boxer named their climate change solutions bill the "Clean Energy Jobs and American Power" act and Rep. Markey named the House Bill the "American Clean Energy and Security Act".
Even with climate change accelerating beyond our wildest expectations, if Kerry and Boxer's bill becomes about climate change, itself, a victory will only occur by the thinnest of margins, if at all. If the public discussion becomes about being in favor of the solutions to climate change with easy-to-see public benefits -- such as clean energy, freedom from oil, energy and fuel efficiency -- support for the bill will be much broader. It just becomes a whole lot harder for people to be against or to not believe in things like "clean energy jobs" and "freedom from oil".
Of course, we all need to do our part by spreading these types of messages, including to our Congressional representatives.
You can reach your Senator via the Congressional Switchboard: 202-224-3121.