News I never thought I’d see…

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In yesterday’s Tacoma News Tribune:

CEOs ask Congress for emissions limits. ~blink~ Check out these words of wisdom:

“mandatory reductions of heat-trapping emissions can be imposed without economic harm”
“we do not believe that voluntary efforts will suffice”
“The science of global warming is clear. We know enough to act now. We must act now.”
“We are asking Congress to not wait for a new administration and not to wait for the presidential debates.”

And just who are these forward-thinkers? Alcoa, BP America, DuPont, Caterpillar, General Electric, Duke Energy Corp, and several leading environmental groups. ~double blink~

Some part of me is thinking there has to be a catch. Either that or they’re finally listening to their insurance companies, who’ve been getting increasingly concerned about the impacts of global warming on their bottom line. And of course some of their solutions are intended to stave off what they see as worse choices, such as the command-and-control approaches of the past, by implementing market-based emissions caps trading systems. Nevertheless, it’s nice to see some big energy companies admit that global warming is real, and that something needs to be done.

Meanwhile, in the State/Local section of the paper…

State should respond to climate changes now, not later

This article describes the recent study which was done for the Washington State Legislature on the likely fiscal impacts of global warming. This is no news to Swiss tourism and ski resorts, who have recently learned they’re likely to lose all the glaciers in the Alps by 2030-2050. Here in Washington, we’re also losing our glaciers and our snowpack, which not only serve the ski resorts but provide much of the water for Western Washington, not to mention water for salmon streams, low-cost renewable electricity, and agriculture.

An estimated 2-foot rise in sea level by 2050 is expected to have significant costs associated with it, including loss of property, damage to waterfront infrastructure and ports, and storm sewer backups. A projected rise in forest fires will continue to strain our already over-burdened fire-fighters, who can no longer rely on the National Guard to help out. Wildfires also burn valuable timber, damage habitat and reduce recreational opportunities. Finally, there is the issue of extreme weather, which already appears to be impacting the state.

All this, and the article on glacier loss in the Swiss Alps, in a SINGLE issue of a daily newspaper. Significantly, these were not articles in the science section, but in world, national, and state news.

Meanwhile… the local school district in the next town over has decided that Al Gore’s movie An Inconvenient Truth cannot be shown in high schools without a contrasting viewpoint. High school science teachers have reported that they don’t feel they can show the movie because they can’t think of what such a contrasting viewpoint would be. Meanwhile, parents and teachers are organizing local showings of the movie to offset the … shall we say … ostrich-like behavior of the school board.

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One thought on “News I never thought I’d see…

  1. Moonchild says:

    Here’s a link to the U.S. Climate Action Partnership (those CEOs and some environmental groups). Also, the Alpine Museum is currently hosting a special exhibit on Glaciers in the Hothouse. And finally, a compostite picture of one glacier from Greenpeace Schweiz.

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