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Why It Pays to Pass a Global Warming Bill

Why It Pays to Pass a Global Warming Bill

Any self-respecting doctor would tell you it’s more cost effective to treat an ailing patient when the symptoms arrive than years down the road when the illness has grown.

Some of our nation’s legislators have taken wise note of the “ounce of prevention” philosophy by introducing a preliminary draft of a comprehensive climate bill, the American Clean Energy and Security Act. The draft was released on March 31 by Reps. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., and Ed Markey, D-Mass.

This historic legislation proposes to set strict limits on greenhouse gas emissions, requiring polluters to pay for the carbon dioxide they currently dump freely into the atmosphere.

The bill aims to significantly reduce greenhouse gas pollution, while also creating millions of clean energy jobs, setting federal renewable energy standards and promoting energy efficiency efforts.

However, other lawmakers continue to delay.

A group of Republican lawmakers, led by House Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, have been trying to undermine support for the Waxman-Markey proposal, by trying to scare the public with bogus numbers, while failing to mention the risks that climate change, if not addressed, poses to communities across the country

Specifically, opponents have been busy with a misinformation campaign erroneously claiming that the bill would cost American families more than $3,000 per year. The basis of the campaign was the misuse of an MIT study, which Boehner was quickly reprimanded for misrepresenting (even by members of his own party). In the end, the study’s author John M. Reilly wrote to Boehner explaining that Boehner had misinterpreted the study and inflated the numbers by a factor of 10.

The nation simply can’t afford to let the naysayers triumph.

In fact, delaying climate legislation by just two years would require more than double the annual cuts in emissions necessary to achieve the goal of preventing a 2 degrees C warming, according an analysis by the Environmental Defense Fund.

And if we don’t let the healing begin, the economic toll of global warming will be all the more devastating when you factor in damage from rising sea levels, more frequent and intense hurricanes and wildfire and the costs associated with drought, to name a few.

The cost of inaction could lead to damage costing between 5 to 20 percent of the world’s gross domestic product, according to Sir Nicholas Stern, former chief economist for the World Bank.

Losses to state economies would be massive, and, according to testimony before Congress by the Reinsurance Association of America, “the sheer magnitude of climate change could impact a large number of industries to such an extent that sustainable insurability may ultimately be put into question.”

If we act now to curb carbon emissions, the cost will be far lower, and will yield the huge economic and social benefits that come with a clean energy economy.

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By Laura Bailey

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2:06PM PST on Jan 9, 2013

Interesting, thank you.

2:05PM PST on Jan 9, 2013

Interesting, thank you.

7:51AM PDT on Jun 17, 2009

Andrew K, you look like this guy
You may be biased, is this serious? Resetting the brain by smacking the person on the head and knocking them unconcious? Geeze, do that to me and I might even believe in Global Warming!

7:12AM PDT on Jun 17, 2009

Seems to me God has the who world in his hands. Isn't man being a little arrogant thinking he can change anything. I think we need more faith in God that faith in man. I can't see anything that mankind has done in the environment that has ever been successful. Seems to me that prayer would be more effective than anything the Global Warming Hucksters can do. i.e. the Indians did pretty well with their Rain Dance.

10:03AM PDT on Apr 19, 2009

Dennis - Yes, we are indeed "in a cooling trend" - but it has been SHORT-TERM (at best four years, not eight) and has NOT lead to an overall cooling over the last 100 years. WEATHER cause temps to go up and down over time (there are many cyclical factors which influence weather), but CLIMATE is based on long-term trends. Those long term trends have indeed been UPWARD:

As to who is making money on the "scam", have you seen Exxon proffits lately? Think they may have a "conflict of interest"?

4:29AM PDT on Apr 15, 2009

Near-Zero CO2 Plan
All our power requirements are for lighting, heating, transport, and energy for such things as industry on down to exercise machines.

The lighting can be zero rated by building Buxton Geothermal Power Stations (BGTGs) which use the heat of the earth at depth by drilling ten kilometre deep holes.

The heating can be near-zero rated by installing Starlite coatings, which can prevent heat leaks, on the walls and ceilings of all premises.

Transport can be made near-zero in terms of carbon emissions by ensuring that all vehicles use BGTG electricity.

The carbon footprints of long range transport can be at least halved by having their fuels mixed permanently with water using an ultrasonic dibber.

Finally, the power needed for energy can be made entirely of BGTG electricity.

Mental illness costs the UK £100 billion per year, enough for the plan. The Kadir-Buxton Method can cure the ill in thirty seconds for free.

Reducing CO2 Levels Already Created

By creating as much biochar as possible we can take CO2 out of the atmosphere and oceans and store it safely in the soil. What we need is central planning, none of this will get done by the market which is obsessed by profits rather than results.

3:55AM PDT on Apr 15, 2009

We need to do something.

G. Warming needs to be stopped for humanity's sake.

8:45PM PDT on Apr 14, 2009

It is simply irresponsible to take any chances, may it be 5%, that mankind could be wiped out of the way. So the economical cost is not even the issue.

But we all know mankind IS irresponsible... And greed remaining one of the main levers of mankind's actions, it may be the lever to use to make those greedy people who rule the world at least act...

10:52AM PDT on Apr 14, 2009

True, Megan, but how do we accomplish the cease and desist? We need to incentivize it somehow- with bribes, or with fear, or in this case, with taxes. We already saw what happened when gas prices went up this past summer so dramatically- consumption went down almost as dramatically. That proves it's a tool that can be used- but not abused- to help lower consumption permanently.

10:29AM PDT on Apr 14, 2009

I'm sorry, but how does "paying" for the carbon dioxide that is currently being "freely" dumped into the air fixing the problem? Money is not the answer - stopping the dumping altogether is, right?

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