Opinion: Did Democrats just save civilization?

File photo by Anna Rose Layden of The New York Times / The U.S. Capitol building in Washington is shown on Thursday, July 21, 2022. Senate Democrats passed the Inflation Reduction Act, which now heads to the House, where it is expected to pass along partisan lines.

They really did it. The Inflation Reduction Act, which is mainly a climate change bill with a side helping of health reform, passed the Senate on Sunday; by all accounts it will easily pass the House, so it's about to become law.

This is a very big deal. The act isn't, by itself, enough to avert climate disaster. But it's a huge step in the right direction, and sets the stage for more action in the years ahead. It will catalyze progress in green technology; its economic benefits will make passing additional legislation easier; it gives the United States the credibility it needs to lead a global effort to limit greenhouse gas emissions.

There are, of course, cynics eager to denigrate the achievement.