Articles by Tony Kreindler
Tony Kreindler is national media director for climate at Environmental Defense Fund.
Ken Ward takes a worthwhile look at the goalposts for U.S. climate policy in his argument for making 350 parts per million the new bright line for success. We agree that we need to aim lower than 450 ppm -- the world is at roughly 380 ppm now, and we're already witnessing adverse climate impacts.
But we part ways when it comes to how we're going to get there. Ward suggests that EDF's support for the Lieberman-Warner Climate Security Act can't be reconciled with a stabilization target below 450 ppm, because the bill as written wouldn't drive sufficient emissions reductions. In fact, there's nothing incompatible about the two. Here's why:
A quick post-mortem on this week's vote on the Climate Security Act, which was pulled from the Senate floor on Friday after its sponsors fell short of the 60 votes needed to proceed to final debate. I think I can safely sum it up in one word: progress.
This is the latest in a series on why it is important to push hard for climate legislation this year.
Over the past few months, I've made the case for passing climate legislation in 2008: We don't want to squander the current momentum, we simply can't afford to wait, and while we do, we only prolong a dangerous catch-22.
Now we're finally on the doorstep of Senate action on a comprehensive climate change bill. Floor debate over the Climate Security Act (S. 3036) will begin Monday, June 2.
If opponents of meaningful action have their way, the debate will be nothing more than a short, partisan fight over gas prices. You can already hear the predictable scare tactics: "Why would we want to raise gas prices now, when working Americans are already suffering at the pump?"
That's a phony argument -- but it brings me to another reason for passing a climate bill in 2008: It's time to kick our oil habit, and the best way to do that is with a cap-and-trade policy that reduces our dependence on fossil fuels.
Gas prices are at a record high because of growing demand from China and other developing nations. That's not going to change. The only solution is to end our addiction to oil.
Why push for a climate bill in 2008? I've already offered some reasons in my previous posts: the politics will be much the same in 2009 (Okay, David offered that one), we don't want to squander the current momentum, and in any case, we simply can't afford to wait.
But if those aren't reason enough, here's another: The world is waiting for us to act. To solve the global warming problem, China and other developing countries also must cap their emissions, and they won't do this until our own cap is in place.
From a New York Times report:
"China is not going to act in any sort of mandatory-control way until the United States does first," said Joseph Kruger, policy director for the National Commission on Energy Policy, a bipartisan group in Washington.
Along with India and other large developing countries, China has long maintained that the established industrial powers need to act first because they built their wealth largely by burning fossil fuels and adding to the atmosphere's blanket of greenhouse gases.
If the U.S. -- the wealthiest country on Earth -- won't establish a cap, how can we expect developing countries to do it?