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Democratic Senators Need to Pass Climate Legislation

Democratic Senators Need to Pass Climate Legislation

When it comes to reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, the cliché “time is of the essence” applies. The fabled Northeast Passage is becoming a reality as a result of the polar ice cap shrinking. Two German cargo ships navigated across Russia’s northern shore, according to a recent announcement by the company, Beluga Shipping Gmbh. The cargo ships sailed from South Korea to Siberia without icebreakers.

A new study found that climate change effects are spreading throughout the Arctic region. While the earth warmed by about 0.7 degrees Fahrenheit (0.4 degrees Celsius) over the last 150 years, the Arctic warmed two to three times that amount. Eric Post of Penn State, who led the team of researchers, proclaimed, “The Arctic as we know it may be a thing of the past.”

In August, U.S. government scientists said satellite data showed that the northern polar ice cap is steadily shrinking. Thinner seasonal ice accounts for 70 percent of total Arctic ice. In the 1980s and 1999s it was 40 to 50 percent. Thicker ice is less than ten percent of the Arctic winter ice, down from 20 percent two years ago.

The U.S., the self-proclaimed leader of the free world, has not yet passed legislation to reduce GHG emissions through regulation. In June the House passed a climate change bill that would regulate GHG emissions, but the Senate has yet to pass a similar bill.

Last week, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar annouced that the Obama administration expects the Senate to pass climate change legislation. “Right now we are focused on this crusade for healthcare reform for the country and that’s where our time and energy will go for the days ahead,” Salazar said. He added, “We want both (healthcare and climate bills). The president has been very clear that these are two big issues for the United States and for our time.”

Senate Democrat leaders said last night they might delay taking up climate change legislation until next year. Senate majority leader, Harry Reid, said, “We are going to have a busy, busy time the rest of this year…And, of course, nothing terminates at the end of this year. We still have next year to complete things if we have to.”


Last April, the Environmental Protection Agency said GHG emissions are a threat to “to “public health and welfare” in an endangerment finding. In 2007, the 2007 Supreme Court ruled that GHG gases are pollutants and subject to Clean Air Act regulation. The ruling required the EPA to determine if climate change is a threat to human health and if so, regulate GHG emissions.

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8:54PM PST on Feb 21, 2013

Thank you for info.

8:53PM PST on Feb 21, 2013

Thank you for info.

8:53PM PST on Feb 21, 2013

Thank you for info.

12:00AM PDT on Sep 19, 2009

Anyone want to help me how this is possible, was the ice only 2 feet thick in the 50's before the cooling in the 70's?

For example, one crew member aboard the USS Skate which surfaced at the North Pole in 1959 and numerous other locations during Arctic cruises in 1958 and 1959 said:

“the Skate found open water both in the summer and following winter. We surfaced near the North Pole in the winter through thin ice less than 2 feet thick. The ice moves from Alaska to Iceland and the wind and tides causes open water as the ice breaks up. The Ice at the polar ice cap is an average of 6-8 feet thick, but with the wind and tides the ice will crack and open into large polynyas (areas of open water), these areas will refreeze over with thin ice. We had sonar equipment that would find these open or thin areas to come up through, thus limiting any damage to the submarine. The ice would also close in and cover these areas crushing together making large ice ridges both above and below the water. We came up through a very large opening in 1958 that was 1/2 mile long and 200 yards wide. The wind came up and closed the opening within 2 hours. On both trips we were able to find open water. We were not able to surface through ice thicker than 3 feet.”

11:55PM PDT on Sep 18, 2009

The ice is the third thinnest since 1991, only 500,000K more than 2007. It was likely much less before we had satellites based on submarines in the 50's FWIW

3:44AM PDT on Sep 17, 2009

We really need to realise that global warming is a fact and is not going to go away until we wake up and begin a really pro-active programme to limit the pressure on our planet. Mother earth has supported us handsomly for millions of years and we are carelessly abusing her. Get together and make a difference. DO WITHOUT SOME LUXURIES and make a difference.

4:55PM PDT on Sep 16, 2009

As far as we know, it may already be too late.

4:32PM PDT on Sep 16, 2009

Nothing our congress or for that mater our nation can do will have any offsetting effect on what the developing world is producing. What increased regulation and taxation will do is decrease wealth that allows people to currently try to be more green friendly. Being greener is expensive and given the choice between discomfort or worse for their families, people will revert to doing more damaging things like burning more wood or coal, using cheaper non eco substances for daily life and ignore recycling.

If the government and more extreme enviros push the issue, it will bounce back on us all-very hard.

3:52PM PDT on Sep 16, 2009

Well said, Brad

2:23PM PDT on Sep 16, 2009

Tewa H. makes a very good point. Whether you believe global warming is human-induced or not (I don't) It is imperative that alternate sources of energy is utilized for a variety of reasons. The problem with the global warming scare is that it takes the focus away from real developments. The idea that corporations can buy credits to offset their pollution only benefits the carbon credit brokers (like Al Gore)

This agenda is being pushed by our first illegal president in order to benefit all his political cronies.

Like it says in this article, "Follow the money":

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