“What is the alternative?” the French president asked. “Think about it. monsieur. What if the richest countries do nothing to help Africa to develop… What if there were no deal at Copenhagen? You think that will not cost our economies dearly? Between Europe and Africa, the Straits of Gibraltar are 12km wide. You think we can leave them in that poverty? You think that won’t cost a lot of money? I’ll tell you what costs money, monsieur: it’s doing nothing. What causes a crisis, is the failure to act.”
America, in part due to GOP obstructionism, in part due to the parochialism of our congressional politics, and in part due to the structural obstacles posed by the Senate, is perfecting the art of "failing to act." And now we have several crises in this country.