March 21, 2007

Gore Sets The Mark

Vice President Al Gore's testimony before a joint House hearing this morning was full of comment-worthy statements and exchanges, but though I'd like to post more on that later, I wanted to write briefly about the ten reforms he said he'd like to see policymakers take up. I took better notes on some than others and may update this later, but here goes:

1 - Freeze CO2 output right now, with a goal of 90% reductions by 2050.

2 - Reduce taxes on employment and production, while increasing taxes on pollution. He said that "right now, we're discouraging work and encouraging the destruction of the planet's habitability" because "carbon pollution is not presently priced into the marketplace."

3 - Assistance for low income households to address any additional costs they may face due to changes in regulations.

4 - A strong global treaty to replace the demonized Kyoto treaty.

5 - A moratorium on any new coal-fired power plant that doesn't make full use of carbon capture and sequestration technology.

6 - Congress should develop a smart electrical grid with no limits on the amount of power small businesses and homeowners could sell back into the grid at rates set by the market. Gore said that if this was implemented, we "might never need another central generating plant."

7 - Raise CAFE standards for vehicle mileage as part of a comprehensive package that addresses other pollutants without singling out the auto industry. "The problem is cars, coal and buildings," he said, adding that all three have to be addressed.

8 - A ban on incandescent lightbulbs. Gore said that if Congress set a date, industry would figure out new ways of doing business.

9 - Set up Connie Mae, or a carbon-neutral mortgage association that would incentivize carbon-neutral home construction.

10 - Gore said the thinks "the SEC ought to require disclosure of carbon emissions in SEC reporting," because it's a risk that investors need to know about.

To sum up why this is so urgent, and briefly because I should have left for the airport 5 minutes ago, Gore explained that the most recent science indicates that the Arctic ice cap could melt entirely in the summer within as little as 10 years. Now, that ice reflects 90% of the sun's rays that hit that area back into space. If it goes, 80% of the sun's rays that hit the planet in the same place will be absorbed into the ocean, heating it.

The time to act is now. The urgency is beyond question. Even if the only thing you can do about it is to pick up your phone and call your congressional representatives to ask for their support for action on Gore's proposals, please do it.


Posted by natasha at March 21, 2007 02:11 PM | Environment | TrackBack(1) | Technorati links |

I guess since liberal Hollywood gave him an Academy Award that makes him an expert now huh?

Posted by: JustaDog at March 21, 2007 03:18 PM

Ultimate Hookergate
The Randy Cunningham "Hookergate" Scandal is not the first prostitution scandal involving close relatives of indicted defense contractor Brent Wilkes, The MadCowMorningNews has learned.

Brent Wilkes brother, Gregory Wilkes, managed the finances of The Wilkes Foundation, which was suspended by the State of California after failing to file financial statements for three years in a row.

When Greg Wilkes wasn't busy failing to file required documents with the state on his brother's charitable foundation, he was the Controller for an unfortunate "Bush Pioneer" named R.D. Hubbard, busted flying almost a dozen hookers by private jet in June of 2001 to a casino he owned to service men government documents have only identified as 48 wealthy guests.

Back in the '80's Hubbard was involved in a number of Michael Milken-financed "greenmail" takeover attempts, partnered with Midland, Texas oilmen Wagner and Brown Ltd.
trangely, in 2001 Wagner and Brown became the last known registered owner of the Lear jet which belonged to terror flight school owner Wally Hilliard until it was seized by DEA agents in Orlando who found 43 lbs. of heroin onboard.

Posted by: ccoaler at March 21, 2007 05:40 PM

(mad cow)

Posted by: ccoaler at March 21, 2007 05:40 PM

His behaviour is more that of a science interpreter than an expert. A well-rounded collection of peer-reviewed scientific journals is, unfortunately, a bit pricier than the average citizen is inclined to spend. They are also written with a focus on scientific precision rather than lay readability. Thus, it is useful to have skillful science writers who can translate scientist-ese into normal language, and this appears to be part of the role that Gore is taking on. Since he is also interpreting what actions should be taken based on the findings, his activities are more like that of a member of an agency such as the EPA or NOAA, which makes recommendations for government actions based on the best available research.
If you feel that his interpretation of the research is faulty, many of the peer-reviewed journals are available to read at university libraries, so you are weldome to peruse and come to your own conclusions as to whether his statements accurately represent the findings of the experts.

Posted by: tjewell at March 22, 2007 09:31 AM

I know it is to be considered all good and well, but the truth is, it is too late. Just going by Gores film AIT, CO2 levels are so incredibly higher than at any other time, we are at the very beginning of a process that can not be reversed or diminshed enough for it to matter for decades to come by simple reductions, or even a complete stop of adding to the greenhouse effects.
The damage is done.

Posted by: e@rthshine at March 22, 2007 12:23 PM

Justadog - Gore held the first hearing on this issue 20 years ago. If you'd seen Inconvenient Truth, you'd also know that he took a college course with the professor who first charted out the rise in CO2.

When someone has been reading about an issue and talking with experts in the field for somewhere over three decades, yes, I think they get to say that they have some expertise.

e@rthshine - Hopefully not everyone feels as you do, or it really will be too late.

Posted by: natasha at March 22, 2007 01:19 PM