Monday, March 05, 2007

The Real Realism

Wow, it's hard to imagine, but this is the 800th post on earthfamilyalpha. There is also somewhere around 500 thousand words. That is eight 200 page books in a little over two years.
Many of those words were cut and pasted of course, as I try to put together a chronologue of the "waking up" of the world to the real challenges that lie ahead.

Here is another one. It's part of a speech given by James Hanson thanks to World Changing.

Hansen Offers Options for Addressing Global Warming
WorldChanging Team
March 4, 2007

Speaking at the American University in Washington, D.C. on Monday, renowned U.S. climate scientist James Hansen offered a series of recommendations to stave off the most dangerous effects of climate change. The “worst-case” consequences of global warming, including disintegration of the Earth’s polar ice sheets and the extinction of many animal and plant species, could be avoided by taking five key steps to limit the increase in global temperature to less than 1 degree Celsius, Hansen said.

Hansen’s suggestions included scientific, economic, and political approaches to fighting global warming, among them placing a moratorium on all new coal-fired power plants until technologies for carbon capture and sequestration are further developed, likely within the next 5–10 years.

This is a reasonable proposal, according to Hansen, since in the future companies are “probably going to bulldoze power plants” that contribute to the growing climate crisis.

Hansen’s second suggestion was to implement a gradually increasing carbon tax that could be used to fund investments in clean technology. Unlike wildly fluctuating gasoline prices, he said, a predictable, steady carbon tax would not be detrimental to the U.S. economy. And new technological investments would promote innovation and efficiency while also creating high-tech, high-paying jobs.

A third step—increased energy efficiency—is the most imperative and easiest challenge for both Congress and the public to take on, Hansen noted. Technology already exists to make buildings and vehicles significantly more efficient, he explained, and implementing these technologies more broadly is a key factor in reducing carbon dioxide emissions quickly.

As a fourth measure, Hansen said the U.S. National Academy of Sciences should assemble the best scientists to execute a study on the stability of ice sheets, a serious issue that remains under-researched.

Finally, Hansen noted the important role the U.S. public can play in helping to “address threats to American democracy.” People have a right to know the truth about climate change, he said, and effective campaign finance reform is needed for this end. “As long as politicians are getting support from special interests, then special interests are going to have special privileges,” he observed. "

Some have offered that Hanson's steps are totally unrealistic, but Hanson is actually endorsing a watered down version of the policies recommended by a 1983 EPA (Reagan) publication entitled "Can we Delay a Greenhouse Warming?" It called for the abolishment of the use of coal and a 300% charge on carbon emissions.

After 24 years, we are finally catching up to these original honest assessments of the EPA before the vested interests joined the "so called" scientific debate.
Once we truly see the reality that is before us though,
The "original EPA recommendations" will once again



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