Schwarzenegger declares war on global warming

“I say the debate is over. We know the science, we see the threat, and the time for action is now.” With those words, California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) yesterday defied Bush administration orthodoxy, announcing ambitious plans to reduce his state’s emissions of greenhouse gases. The Governator issued an executive order that would set targets — cut emissions to 2000 levels by 2010, 1990 levels by 2020, and 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050 — that are less stringent than the Kyoto Protocol’s in the short-term, but one of the world’s most aggressive in the long-term. Some analysts say that if the targets are met (a big if, obviously), California would cut more emissions than Japan, France, or the U.K. Schwarzenegger was vague about how the targets would be met, but his eco-adviser Terry Tamminen said that accelerating current programs and adopting proposals the governor has already made would achieve the short-term goals, and that a cap-and-trade system was not out of the question for the longer term.