The Chicago Tribune has identified something we've talked about a number of times here at WorldChanging: American federal government reluctance to do anything substantive about climate disruption may be less important than the growing number of state government projects and initiatives to fight global warming.
In recent years, the focus of efforts to control future greenhouse emissions has shifted to the state level. According to the Pew Center, at least 28 states have undertaken measures to reduce such emissions, including a new Colorado requirement that large utilities there must produce 10 percent of their electricity from renewable energy sources, such as wind power, by 2015.
There are still plenty of things that only the feds can do -- treaties, controls over emissions of aircraft and shipping, and the like -- but we shouldn't assume that because the EPA is dragging its feet, we've lost. The fight has just shifted venues.
One shouldn't overlook that fact that many cities(inside and outside the US) have taken on the problem at the grassroots level by actions such as buying fuel efficient vehicles and retrofitting municipal buildings. In Massachusetts (admittedly not the fed's favorite state), we have groups in 22 cities working on the home front. For more info: http://www.iclei.org and http://www.massclimateaction.org