Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Fight Climate Change, Don't Accept It

A somewhat alarming trend has emerged -- that we must rebuild harder and stronger than ever before as storms like Sandy will be the norm not the exception.

Preparation is important but it potentially overlooks a very big elephant in the room --  the root cause still needs our serious focus and resources.  Reducing carbon emissions by changing the way we create electricity and move ourselves around the planet should still be Job One.

Climate change is already having negative impacts on the planet but the worst of it has not arrived and more importantly, it is not inevitable.  Let's go to the source of the problem before wholly accepting it as a fait accompli.    

Laura Haight, Senior Environmental Associate with the New York Public Interest Research Group, said it well:

“In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, much of the focus has been on how we rebuild to make our communities less vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. It is equally important, if not more so, to redouble our efforts to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions that are causing global warming in the first place.

New York can lead the way by enacting the Global Warming Pollution Control Act, which would cut emissions across all sectors of the economy by 80% by 2050. Our political leaders must tackle this issue head-on – as we have seen from the increased incidence and severity of droughts, storms, and other weather extremes, we cannot afford to hide our heads in the sand on climate change."

We can do this.  Here are Seven Ways to a Clean Energy Future:

1.  Phase out the creation of dirty electricity from fossil fuels.  Don't believe the hype:  The US can be a prosperous and robust nation without such pollution.

2.  Support ongoing clean energy innovation at the Department of Energy. 

3.  Continue to push for a clean energy military.  No organization can accelerate innovation and adoption like the US military.  Not disregarding the molten flaws of the military-industrial complex, just saying it would be something positive to come from that machine.

4.  Renew the federal Wind Production Tax Credit.  Wait, that happened.  Excellent!

5.  Build the necessary infrastructure to support new sources of electricity.

6. Heavily support renewables and pro-renewable legislation.

7. Practice serious energy efficiency.   The industry calls it the Fifth Fuel because there is so much of it.  The amount we burn as waste is astronomical.

image: livemint.com

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