by Janet Ritz
Al Gore presented four warning signs and ten suggestions at today's Joint Climate Change Hearings. Here are his four top warning signs (his suggestions are below):
- New evidence that's come out shows that this may be worse than described. Arctic ice cap is melting more rapidly than predicted. Could disappear in summertime in 34 years. This problem is burning a hole at the top of the world.
- Earth is shaking because of Greenland - glacial earthquakes - 1993 there were 7, 1999, 14, last year, 32.
- Frozen methane in the tundra, billions of tons, 23 times more powerful than C02, need to turn the thermostat down before that melts.
- Fires in the west, Russia, Australia (1000 year drought) correlates with warming temps and earlier spring.
Gore went on to say that there are many other signs, that we do not have time to play around with this and that we do not have the luxury for politics as usual.
Here are his ten suggestions:
- Immediately freeze C02 emissions in US, reach 90% reductions by 2050.
- Start using the tax code to reduce taxes on employment and make up the difference with pollution taxes. We're discouraging work and encouraging the destruction of the planet. Carbon pollution not presently priced into the marketplace. Air and water are part of that, must be revenue neutral tax shift.
- Portion of those revenues must be earmarked for lower income groups who will have a hard time making shift.
- Strong global treaty. Kyoto has been demonized. Work for defacto compliance. We ought to move forward the starting date of the next treaty from 2012 to 2010 so whoever is sworn in in 2009 can use political mandate to work toward defacto compliance and then ratify a new, tougher treaty. Build more confidence with China, India to bring them to participate.
- Congress should issue moratorium on any new coal plant not compliant with carbon capture
- Like the initiative to build the Internet, this congress should develop an Electranet, a smart grid. A law that allows homeowners and businesspeople to put up their own generators, sell electricity into the grid without caps at a rate that is not determined by the utility, but as a tariff.
- Raise CAFE standards, cars, coal and buildings.
- Along with tax system and treaty, use regulatory power. Set a date for ban on incandescent light bulbs.
- Buildings: pass a law - Connie Mae, carbon neutral mortgage association.
- SEC should require disclosure of carbon emission in corporate reporting.
Again, here's the link to the House Science Committee.
The link to the Senate Environmental and Public Works Committee