Saturday :: Apr 10, 2004

A Look At Smog From Both Sides Now


by pessimist

One of the easy hits the Bush (mis)Administration takes is their stance against efforts to curb global warming, especially as expressed in their withdrawal from the Kyoto Accords on air pollution.

Environmentalists have had little to cheer about since Bush took power, but it's beginning to look like news like Greenland's ice shelf is melting is beginning to show some interest from Congress.

Bipartisan House bill may signal growing consensus on climate change

Last week, a motley bipartisan crew of representatives including Wayne Gilchrest (R-Md.) and John Olver (D-Mass.) stood beside Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Joseph Lieberman (D-Conn.) to introduce companion legislation to the senators' Climate Stewardship Act. The House version, like the Senate's, proposes to set a mandatory cap for greenhouse-gas emissions and create a market-based carbon-dioxide trading system that would allow companies to buy and sell the right to pollute.

Though the senators' bill met expected defeat on the Senate floor last fall, the narrow 43-55 loss stunned both sides and presented powerful evidence of a growing consensus that federal measures to address global warming are needed.

I am not especially in favor of a market to trade rights to pollute, but its a start. I'm hoping that if polluting becomes a tangible cost, then all those who oppose any kind of pollution control will begin to see things differently. Certainly, even GOP Representatives in states which have serious pollution problems are willing to stand for this bill. The article has a partial list of sponsors for the House bill:

Half of the 20 cosponsors of the House bill are Republicans, including Sherwood Boehlert (R-N.Y.), Vernon Ehlers (R-Mich.), Jim Greenwood (R-Penn.), Amo Houghton (R-N.Y.), Nancy Johnson (R-Conn.), Sue Kelly (R-N.Y.), Christopher Shays (R-Conn.), Rob Simmons (R-Conn.), and James Walsh (R-N.Y.).

Much more is needed lest the US again suffer the fate of Donora, Pennsylvania in 1948. (This article also covers a couple of much worse events in London in 1948 and 1952, in which thousands died from the smog.) The fact that there is interest on the issue on both sides of the aisle is a sign that the word is finally getting through - and that the time to do something is upon us. Unfortunately, it's looking like we will have to remove the BushCo cabal before anything productive can occur.

Just another reason to throw the bums out!

pessimist :: 4:23 PM :: Comments (2) :: Digg It!