Archive for the ‘Global Warming’ Category

President Bush is speaking out against increasing fuel efficiency and emissions standards in response to a ruling handed down by the Supreme Court this week.

In a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court ruled that Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) had the authority to regulate heat-trapping gases such as carbon dioxide (CO2). The President, as well as the domestic automotive companies, Ford and General Motors (GM), have opposed such regulations for the past several years, stating that the costs will hurt the industry.

Lacking federal action, several states have taken up the issue, most notably California, which has passed into law a bill that will require the states CO2 emissions to be reduced by 25% by 2020. Other states in the West and Northeast are passing or considering similar measures.

The automotive industries have long claimed that such regulations will increase production costs and harm the industry, spending millions on lawsuits in attempts to overturn emissions and fuel efficiency regulations. However, when examining the fiscal earnings for the automotive giants, one can see that they bleeding money as it is because of this issue. Almost every other industrialized country has higher emissions and fuel efficiency standards than the United States. Those include Japan, Germany, Great Britain, France, Taiwan, and even China. California’s plan, which has been lambasted by GM and Ford, would increase the standards for automobiles in the state by 2011 to the point that China requires right now. The emissions standards are so much higher in other countries that many of them no longer allow American-made automobiles to be sold in their countries, and so GM and Ford have seen a serious drop in sales and incoming money.

Honda and Toyota, in the meantime, are seeing steady growth and are not having the same kinds of fiscal problems that the American automotive industry is having.

President Bush has also stated that the U.S. should not have to increase its standards until the rest of the world does as well. He stated: “Whatever we do must be in concert with what happens internationally. Unless there is an accord with China, China will produce greenhouse gases that will offset anything we do in a brief period of time.” First, as stated above, China has higher standards than the U.S. does.

Secondly, this is an embarrassing lack of leadership by the United States. We should not be waiting for “what happens internationally.” We should be leading the way, head and shoulders above everyone else. Instead we are lagging far behind. Instead of racing to achieve energy independence and cut back on our need for coal and foreign oil, we are languishing in the Age of Petroleum.


Read Full Post »

Today I watched An Inconvenient Truth, the documentary on Al Gore’s fight to spread the word on global warming.

Anyone who has watched the documentary has seen much of the overwhelming evidence that shows that global warming is indeed a fact – not some made up theory about current climate change.

The global warming debate is one of the must puzzling in a long time. All scientific evidence shows that global warming is not some kooky theory – it is fact. The scientific community is not debating this, they are in agreement that global warming exists. The problem comes when people, for what they deem economic reasons, come out against it in the public media. While there is no debate over global warming in the scientific community, the literature in the scientific community is not widely read by the American public. The literature that is widely read by the public has many articles that have been published by Big Oil and those who feel that global warming presents an economic threat to them, and, as such, the American public reads articles and sees speeches that are divided on whether or not global warming is an actual phenomenon.

The sad part of it is, that while the American public remains sadly ignorant, global warming is occuring all around us. Now I did not need to see An Inconvenient Truth to inform of the problems associated with global warming, it did remind me of the fact that people still don’t believe it exists!

How can we fix this problem? It’s a difficult thing to think about, as a major part of the problem resides in where Americans get their information from (see my previous post on this). Because so many Americans get so much of their information from sources who may not be accurate, many Americans remain somewhat ignorant on many issues.

Until the American public speaks out about global warming, the American government will not speak out about global warming. Representatives in Congress will only press on matters they believe will get them votes from their electorate, as Gore states in the documentary.

Read Full Post »