Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Obama adresses Global Warming

It is fascinating that the first non partisan address by president elect Barack Obama should be about Global warming and be coached in the language of a true believer.

At least we will be on a global drive to eliminate CO2 dumping into the atmosphere. That is good and necessary policy and I think its implementation to be good business however it is justified. I only hope the next few years of lousy weather do not cool everyone’s ardor.

The science is certainly beyond dispute, as the temperature has dropped most of a degree for the first time in a couple of decades this past year. His speech writers are clearly as out of touch with science as he is. In the meantime we are setting up for a bitter cold winter that is sure to mock all his efforts on the subject and certain to trigger a blow up in the grand tradition of scientific dispute.

Of well, let him have his warm-ups for the inauguration. His speech writers may even learn to get someone scientifically literate on board who knows the appropriate weasel words.

Report on Video Address

The science is beyond dispute and the facts are clear," Mr. Obama says. "Sea levels are rising. Coastlines are shrinking. We've seen record drought, spreading famine, and storms that are growing stronger with each passing hurricane season."

Obama says the White House has often failed to show leadership on the issue. "That will change when I take office," he says. "My presidency will mark a new chapter in America’s leadership on climate change that will strengthen our security and create millions of new jobs in the process."

He proposes a federal cap and trade system to reduce emissions to their 1990 levels by 2020 and an additional 80 percent by 2050; an annual $15 billion investment in private sector efforts to build a clean energy future; solar power, wind power, next generation biofuels, safe nuclear power, and clean coal technologies.

"Delay is no longer an option," he says. "Denial is no longer an acceptable response."

Good Comment Here

President-elect Obama was very explicit in his intention to implement a carbon cap-and-trade system to reduce CO2 emissions, with an 80% reduction goal by 2050, and it should be mentioned that John McCain also deserves credit for supporting cap-and-trade. To me, these developments are a clear sign of how far the world, following the universal lead of science, has moved past arguing whether CO2 reduction is necessary, and is discussing how to accomplish it. It's probably unrealistic to expect that all voices resisting a transition from fossil fuels to an economy reliant on renewable energy will immediately fall silent, but those of us who want our voices heard rather than ignored would be wise to engage in the discussion of carbon remediation options. The upcoming meeting in Poland will be another important step, although it's regrettable that China will not be participating from what I understand. Even so, China has already begun to match rhetoric with some constructive actions to reduce the magnitude of its CO2 emissions while it continues to promote its industrialization efforts, and its desire to receive help from the West in implementing carbon control technologies deserves a favorable response from the industrialized nations.

Fred Moolten

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