Tuesday, January 30, 2007

What Can Be Done About Climate Change? Senator Boxer Asks Us (And Offers a Solution?)

Ever since Senator Barbara Boxer asked this question earlier today, I've been thinking about it. I know that this is already becoming one of the great challenges of our time. I know that this is something that we simply cannot afford to ignore...

So what's being done about it? What can be done about it, when the White House has tried to deceive us into thinking that it's not even a problem?

Already, we're starting to see positive action in Washington. The House recently voted to end oil company subsidies. We're seeing Presidential Candidates talk about how they intend to tackle climate change. Oh, and we're finally seeing some legislation being introduced to stop the oncoming global catastrophe NOW!

Oh, and speaking of legislation, our own Senator Boxer may be up to something quite good:

Eleven senators, including Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Chair Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT), today introduced a bill setting firm emissions reduction targets needed to avoid the worst effects of global warming. The Global Warming Pollution Reduction Act calls for reductions in carbon dioxide (CO2) and other heat-trapping emissions to 80 percent below their 1990 levels by 2050.

Human activity-burning fossil fuels and cutting down forests-releases CO2 that blankets the earth and traps heat. The amount of CO2 in the atmosphere has increased greatly over the last century and global temperatures are rising as a result. Scientific evidence suggests if atmospheric concentrations of heat-trapping gases stabilize at or below 450 parts per million (ppm CO2 equivalent), we have a good chance of holding global average temperature increases below 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) and averting the most severe impacts of global warming.

Staying under the 450 ppm threshold requires cutting global emissions roughly in half from today's levels by mid-century. Given that the United States leads the world in both absolute and per capita emissions, we must achieve even deeper reductions here at home. The Global Warming Pollution Reduction Act takes an incremental approach to reaching this goal: U.S. emissions would decrease approximately two percent each year from 2010-2020 to reach 1990 levels. Emissions would be cut 26 percent below 1990 levels by 2030, 53 percent below 1990 levels by 2040 and fully 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050.

The bill allows for acceleration of the emission reductions if necessary to stay below the 2C target. It also includes provisions to increase our reliance on clean renewable energy sources, improve energy efficiency, test carbon capture and storage technologies, reduce heat-trapping emissions from passenger vehicles and re-engage in international negotiations on global warming.

I guess that's why the Union of Concerned Scientists has endorsed this bill. Oh, and I should probably admit that I am really liking this piece of legislation, as well. However, I recognize that this may not be the the final bill that becomes law. Perhaps Senator Boxer also understands this, and is asking us what we want to see done on climate change.

Well, I can tell you what I want to see done on climate change. There is only so much supply of fossil fuels left on our planet...
And look at how much damage has been done in the pursuit of more! For the sake of our national (and global) security, as well as our global survival, we must end this addiction to fossil fuels! I definitely want to see our government invest in clean, renewable energy, instead of wasting any more funds trying to salvage the fossil fuel industry. Of course, I also want to see our government encourage conservation. I want to see the American people be more energy wise. Oh, and I WANT TO SEE MYSELF BECOME MORE ENERGY-WISE!

If we want our planet to survive for future generations, then we need to stop destroying it now. If we want America to succeed in tomorrow's global economy, then we need to begin preparing now. If we want to thrive in the future, then we need to stop thinking in the past.

(Cross-posted at Calitics and My Left Wing)

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