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Friday, September 11, 2015

Obama Announces Clean Power Plan

Good report from Better World Club.  We, too, believe a Carbon Tax could be a great driver of reducing carbon emissions and putting a lot of money into clean energy and new technology.

We can't wait for the perfect bill to act.  The Obama Plan gets us closer to our goal of migrating our economy from one based on fossil fuel to one driven, for the next centuries, by clean energy.  Let's use this as an impetus for getting down the road and adding other legislation then that will build on this momentum.  

Well, Not Exactly “Clean”…But “Less Dirty”
Now a Carbon Tax Would Be “Clean”
And a National Permanent Fund Would Be Spotless

It’s taken over 6 years—and perhaps the hottest temperatures in history--but on August 2nd, President Barack Obama announced plans to cut carbon emissions with his Clean Power Plan.
Immediately, environmentalists stood up in unison and… started debating.  Even though this is the climate recognition that environmentalists have long been waiting for—and even though the plan would begin a shift away from coal-fired plants—and even though Obama’s Republican opponents aren't even debating the details of the plan because they're still debating climate change itself— even then, many environmental leaders were disappointed.

James Hansen, a climate researcher who headed NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies for over 30 years and first warned Congress of global warming in 1988, said of the new plan: “The actions are practically worthless....They do nothing to attack the fundamental problem.”

A recent study published by Hansen and 16 of his colleagues concludes that glaciers in Greenland and Antarctica will melt 10 times faster than the IPCC estimates, resulting in sea level rise of at least 10 feet in as little as 50 years. If true, coastal cities like New York and New Orleans have but a few decades of habitability left.

Climate Action Tracker emphasized the positive aspects of the plan, noting that it “makes a difference,” and will likely reduce America’s economy-wide emissions by “roughly 10%” beyond the current pace. However, even they rated the U.S. plan in particular as about halfway to what’s needed, and hoped “urgent revisions” would arrive in the months ahead. 

While many Republicans have pounced on Obama’s plan, calling it “lawless” and comparing it to a “crusade,” many mainstream journalists and commentators on the Left are in agreement with Hansen's criticisms. Vox’s Brad Palmer pointed out that U.S. emission declines have little to do with policy and, in any case, have recently begun to creep upward again. Slate’s Eric Holthaus, a meteorologist, recentlyestimated that Obama’s plan cuts emissions only about a third of what researchers like Hansen say is necessary. 

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