Saturday, June 02, 2007

State and local action to reduce CO2

Since the U.S. government will most like do nothing substantive between now and January, 2009, several states and municipalities are taking action to reduce CO2 emissions and some of this is getting covered.

The San Francisco Chronicle (Carolyn Jones) covers Berkeley's substantial efforts to reduce its carbon footprint:
Six months after Berkeley voters overwhelmingly passed Measure G, a mandate to reduce the city's greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent by 2050, the city is laying out a long-term road map for residents, business and industry. It includes everything from solar panels at the Pacific Steel foundry to composted table scraps.

The article in places uses what I think is some poorly chosen language about how hard this is going to be. There's the title "IT WON'T BE EASY BEING GREEN: Berkeley sets tough course for its residents to follow to help reduce emissions of greenhouse gases in city". First of all, the residents voted to do this themselves. It was not "set" on residents by some outside authority. And again there's this assumed hardship of de-carbonizing compared to burning CO2 without a care in the world. Has anyone speculated on daily life in an all-carbon-all-the-time future? I bet its no picnic.

The Washington Post covers attempts by the states to set their own vehicle emissions standards. This is fallout from the recent Supreme Court decision that the EPA can regulate CO2. Further fallout is in this article from Joel Havemann and Johanna Neuman at the Los Angeles Times about California's request to set tougher emissions standards. Look at this bizzare comment from an auto industry lobbyist:
Steven Douglas, a representative of the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, said California cannot prove a link between global warming and carbon dioxide emissions by motor vehicles in the state. Global warming is a global problem, he said, and California could not prove that the state could solve it because there are so many other sources of greenhouse gases.
"prove a link?". These guys are definitely cribing from the tobacco industry playbook. But then Mr. Douglas undercuts his denialism with a small-scale version of the "we shouldn't do anything until the Chinese do something" game.

All CO2 emissions count towards the problem and any reduction is a good thing, including California's cars. No one act will solve the global warming problem. Its going to take many things and this is one of them.

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