Thursday, December 21, 2006

Continuing Climate Change Week

Continuing this week's theme of climate change, Congressman Marty Meehan (D-Lowell) and Dr. Paul Epstein, the associate director of the Center for Health and the Global Environment at Harvard Medical School, have an op-ed in today's Boston Globe. The piece is a condensed version of the speeches that both made at Saturday's town meeting, and is a good overview of the dangers of increased carbon in the atmosphere and the inaction thus far from the federal government in combating it. Towards the end of the article, Meehan outlines the next steps that he hopes the government will be able to enact to combat global climate change:

Instead of silencing government climate experts, the federal government should take a cue from states like Massachusetts and become an active leader and partner in efforts to combat global warming. The president, working with Congress, should raise automotive fuel efficiency standards and increase support for public transportation; promote "green buildings" or green homes, schools and businesses; institute a RGGI-style federal program to cap greenhouse gas emissions and encourage trade and cooperation; eliminate "perverse" subsidies for fossil fuels; and institute significant financial incentives for producers and consumers to adopt energy-efficient and green technologies.
Of course, given the current occupant of the White House, none of the above is likely to happen with help from the federal government in the short term. My hope, though, is that with Democrats in control of Congress, we can at least start to have a long-overdue national conversation on renewable energy and efficiency.