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Friday, May 25, 2012

Eleven degrees

The International Energy Agency reports that because global carbon dioxide emissions rose by 3.2 percent to a record high last year, we are heading to a devastatingly warmer world – 11 degrees Fahrenheit warmer by the end of this century.

The consequences of this magnitude of warming are almost unimaginable.  The threat cannot be plainer. Nor can the need for urgent action. 

Part of the immediate solution was contained in the IEA report.  Carbon emissions fell in the US – more than in any other nation in the world during the last 5 years. Why?  Shale gas. We must use it to drive a low carbon economy now, and lead the way globally.  That requires getting tougher regulations in place now.  It also demands that the industry (which will obviously benefit from such a shift) must immediately raise its level of environmental performance and transparency and not wait for the rules to be enacted. And I believe that we must deploy carbon capture and storage technology for all fossil fuel-fired electricity now.

Our children and grandchildren will not forgive us if we fail.

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