Wednesday night I took a (very brief) break from door-knocking to attend a dynamite seminar at George Mason University. It was sponsored by the non-profit Chesapeake Climate Action Network, which is at www.chesapeakeclimate.org. There was not an empty seat in the hall.
There were multiple speakers, including elected officials and academics specializing in global warming. The message was clear: under current levels of carbon output, our American society will rapidly enter an era of human-induced global warming which will impact every aspect of how we live.
This is now the paramount issue at the national, state and local level, especially since Virginia is one of the worst states in promoting energy conservation.
I’ve written previous posts on this issue (and there are more to come). I am also working with the Kaine administration and other state leaders in how we address and reduce Virginia’s carbon output in the 2008 General Assembly session.
Let me offer the first suggestion: it cannot be done with yet another industry-authored “environmental” bill. There needs to be a partnership which brings the environmental community to the table, as well as business leaders. This partnership needs to bring on board others (church leaders, sportsmen, etc) that have a vested interest in this issue.
There are many places to start:
1. using the purchasing power of state/local governments to “buy green”
2. investing in the R&D required for new bio-fuels and then mandating their use at the pump
3. setting strict renewable energy requirements for our power needs
I can go on and on. The bottom line is that the issue is before us now — if you are not addressing it, then you are ignoring it.
Great work by CCAN to promote this issue and come forward with solutions.