Thursday, April 29, 2010

Climate Change Officially Sanctioned

The US Government has finally taken a public stand on the issue of how human activities impact climate change. It has issued a report that interprets climate change data that emphasizes the impact that greenhouse gasses (GHG's) make on the environment. Considering that 70 percent of the average city’s greenhouse gas emissions come from buildings, this would necessarily be the first thing to tackle, and the easiest in terms of not only preventing more emissions by not building enormous amounts of square footage, but reducing existing levels by retrofitting existing structures and facilities as well as replacing old and inefficient sprawl with clean and effective industries.

EPA has proposed far tougher standards for ozone limits, for example, in January. This applies to the entire spectrum of pollution sources including power plants, factories and landfills, putting much of the US. in violation of Federal law. So, of course the industry pushes back through the Chamber of Commerce to kill this effort. Since the US has among the highest emissions on the globe, the concerted effort by industry (with China's help) to shut down global emissions policies by our Federal Government amounts to a violation of global accord that has been evident since the Bush administration boycotted Kyoto in 2005.

I've talked about the Chamber's short-term profits-first efforts at slowing progress in the name of outmoded production models before. It keeps us embedded in an increasing carbon cycle that will ultimately trap industry in a backwater of uncompetitive practices as well as an inescapable shutdown as emissions continue to increase in the oil and coal based industries without a means to produce energy or power industry with other sources.

It's time to take this policy seriously, and respond in every community in the state by reviewing and improving these facilities. They've already been mapped and it's interactive on line.