A reader writes:

Sorry, but I don't understand why anyone would be excited about the Waxman bill. I imagine it's well-intentioned. But this is a country that can't even raise the gas tax from 18.4 cents to 30 cents. This is a country with a Nobel laureate who heads the Energy Department, who announces that global warming could be reduced by simply painting more roofs (and other surfaces) white, and of course we all know that we'll never actually do this. This is a country with terribly unbalanced finances, and we all know that of course no one will raise the retirement age for social security, not even by 6 months, to take effect next year. This is a country that, fully-aware that there is a glut of cars in the world, subsidizes... GM and Chrysler. So why on earth would anyone think that this country can do anything to affect global warming?

Apologies for the cynicism, but when there are so many "softball solutions" that seem to have no prospect of actually happening, it's hard to care about an ambitious bill about climate change.

I have to say I agree. I know the system mitigates against swift change - and that's its beauty - but it also seems to be resistant to any change that might benefit the public interest if it can be prevented by massively powerful private interests or ideological campaigns based in cynicism and the pursuit of power. 

Watching how this government can do nothing to reform healthcare, nothing to end the wars and occupations that drain the coffers, nothing to tackle entitlements even as the country teeters toward complete insolvency, nothing to reform a broken immigration system ... even after a president is elected with a clear mandate and a Congressional majority in both Houses: well, we know why America is fucked, don't we?

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