Year 2, Month 6, Day 11: Bill and Mike’s Excellent Vacation

Clinton and Bloomberg are going to tackle climate change together. What fun!

WASHINGTON — Bill Clinton and Michael R. Bloomberg have circled each other warily for a decade, ever since Mr. Clinton landed in Harlem after leaving the White House and Mr. Bloomberg ascended from a hugely successful business career to become the mayor of New York City. They have appeared together at a few civic functions, dined out a couple of times a year and hacked at golf balls on the same course.

But until now they have never joined forces on a project with global reach that could advance both of their legacies. They are taking on an issue — climate change — that may well shape the world’s economic and social future for decades to come.

Good for them, I suppose. Sent May 29:

Bill Clinton understates things: climate change isn’t merely one of the world’s two or three biggest challenges, but the most significant problem we’ve faced in the history of our civilization. By far. All the agenda items commonly represented at meetings of the world’s movers and shakers: the endless wars, incessant bickerings over trade, and our violations of what have only recently been recognized as “human rights” — all deal with essentially short-term concerns, and all can at least potentially be solved with enough careful discussion and the gradual development of mutual understanding between tribes, cultures and nations. The greenhouse effect and the laws of physics, by contrast, will be indifferent to Mr. Clinton’s eloquence and to Mr. Bloomberg’s business acumen. All their fine words will amount to nothing unless we — all of us — can stop taking carbon out of the ground and putting it in the atmosphere.

Warren Senders

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