hightower
March 24, 2006

 

 

Doing something about global warming
by Jim Hightower

Instead of recognizing the obvious — that global warming is fast reaching the tipping point where it becomes irreversible (and disastrous) — the Bushites continue to keep their heads up the tailpipes and smokestacks of the industries pumping out the greenhouse gases that cause the unnatural warming.

So, we're doomed, right?

Not necessarily. While Washington foolishly fiddles, officials at the state level have been springing into action. Unlike the White House, state leaders are up close and personal with the effects of global warming — ranging from declines in the production of some crops to having to plan for rising sea levels along their coastlines. So these officials have gotten serious about restricting the amount of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases coming out of vehicle tailpipes, which is the second largest (and fastest growing) source of global warming gases.

California has been in the lead and has now adopted a rule requiring that, ten years from now, cars and trucks there must have technology in place reducing the emission of these gases by 30 percent. Oh, scream the automakers — this will cause marketplace chaos, car sales will cease, the sky will fall!

The industry refuses to support any restriction on tailpipe emissions of carbon dioxide, instead rushing to court to stop the California rule and require that only the federal government can regulate these gases. Of course, that would maintain the status quo of do-nothingism. One environmental lawyer, noting that the whole world is moving to stop such emissions, says: "We are going to become the dumping ground for the dirtiest cars made in the world. China will have more stringent standards than the U.S. in 2010."

Meanwhile, eight states — from Connecticut to Oregon — have also adopted the California rule. To help get your state moving, call the Union of Concerned Scientists at 617-547-5552.

Jim Hightower is the best-selling author of Let’s Stop Beating Around the Bush, on sale from Viking Press. For more information, visit www.jimhightower.com


              
              
                 

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