War on Carbon Emissions

They declared a War on Poverty. (Poverty won.)

They declared a War on Drugs. (Drugs won.)

They declared a War on Terror. (Terror seems to have the upper hand.)

But when it comes to reducing carbon emissions to help slow down the process of global warming, they haven’t declared a War on Carbon Emissions.

Instead, they’ve said they might be able to cut down a bit on carbon emissions by forty-two years from now. So if you have a newborn baby today, your child will have entered school, gone through elementary school, passed middle school and high school, entered college for a four-year degree, possibly spend another five years getting a graduate degree or two.

Then, at the age of twenty-seven and with another fifteen years to go before she’s forty-two, your child will get a job, work at it for five years (ten years to go), change jobs and work at it for another five years (five to go), then change jobs once more and work at it for five years before she’s forty-two. By that date, they want to have taken some steps to try to reduce carbon emissions a bit in order to slow down the process of global warming.

Well, now that’s just stupid. If they don’t have the guts to come right out and say, “We don’t feel like doing anything about global warming in our lifetime”, then they should consider the possibility that what they’re saying now fails to serve as an improvement on silence.

Can carbon emissions be reduced drastically in a much shorter time? Of course they can, and don’t let them convince you otherwise. Will the reduction involve changes in lifestyle for most Americans? You bet. Will the changes involve much wailing and gnashing of teeth? Most certainly.

Will the changes happen anyway? Yes, because the rest of the world is losing patience with the US and because this country is utterly dependent on the rest of the world. That dependence is expressed by foreign ownership of multinational corporations (is there some reason why people don’t get what “multinational” really means?), by borderless communications and instant news coverage by the blogosphere and by increasing pressure on the US to rejoin the international community as an equal.

So, how about a War on Carbon Emissions? Maybe we can actually win one for a change.

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2 Responses to “War on Carbon Emissions”

  1. I think Liebermann just tried that. Got killed in committee. Oy.

  2. Some common-sense actions that most of us can take:

    > Combine as many errands into one auto trip as possible.

    > Use fewer vehicles per household. De-registering lesser used vehicles not only saves you on gas; you can skip the DMV reg. fee, and esp. the insurance. Our household did this, and it works!

    You’re right — it’s up to us. Politics and guts are mutually exclusive. And “War on Exhaust” makes an even better bumper sticker than “war on carbon emissions” — why not put your mouth where your money is? (going, going, gone….)

    A few more ideas:

    http://litboy.typepad.com/my_weblog/2007/01/uncomplicate_my.html
    > Uncomplicate My Life, part 1

    http://litboy.typepad.com/my_weblog/2007/06/uncomplicate-my.html
    > Uncomplicate My Life, part 2

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