Thursday, February 5, 2009

Stephen Chu lays it out....

Obama's new Energy Secretary Stephen Chu did not mince words when he laid out the dangers and challenges that lie ahead if serious efforts to tackle global warming are not addressed.

Obama's energy secretary outlines dire climate change scenario

Unless there is timely action on climate change, California's agricultural bounty could be reduced to a dust bowl and its cities disappear, Barack Obama's energy secretary said yesterday....

The language he used yesterday, though stark, was in step with a co-ordinated effort by Obama's officials and Democrats in Congress to project an image of consensus among policy makers in Washington on the need to move America away from fossil fuels and cut greenhouse gas emissions...

Obama ran a presidential campaign pledging to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by the middle of the century. He made his first move to redeeming that promise last week when he ordered the environmental protection agency to reconsider its refusal, when Bush was president, to allow California and 13 other states regulate car exhaust emissions.

He also directed the car industry to produce cars that can achieve 35 miles per gallon by 2020...

But the extent of public support is less clear, and a number of leading Republicans remain implacably opposed to the idea that global warming exists. Recent opinion polls suggest that the economic recession has eclipsed concern about the environment.

Democrats insist that the downturn should not prevent action on greenhouse gas emissions. "If you want to fight this recession, do it by mobilising to become energy independent with clean energy and really save this planet," said Boxer.

But America's credit crisis appears to have stopped the growth of the wind and solar power industries in their tracks. Factories building components for wind turbines and solar panels have been letting staff go.
Public opinion, credit markets, dinosaur legislators. Seems there's no end to the reasons not to take action. Let's see if Obama will continue to stand up against the republican energy lobby that has a vested interest in NOT tackling global warming.

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