I know it's still morning and people are readjusting themselves to sitting uncomfortably at a computer screen for eight or so hours, so, I don't want to coat you in more depressing thoughts that perhaps are already swirling in your head. But, I get pretty sad when I think about global warming -- melting polar ice caps, more endangered species, worse health outcomes and threats to our food supply. (Yes, I am a bleeding heart liberal who cries at such thoughts).
It's pretty bad and the situation was even more grim under the reign of George Bush who refused to do anything to address global warming. Not only did he not want to do anything, he actually fought hard for regressive policies. Some of the more egregious included the US jumping ship from the Kyoto Protocols (an international agreement to regulate carbon dioxide emissions), offering tax credits for Hummer purchases, altering and suppressing science from public reports and websites and including longtime buddies from oil and gas companies in energy policy-decisions. It's hard to deal with irrational people.
But, that was then and now we're in the era of Obama. We're now living under the reign of pragmatism, rationality and sound environmental policies that benefit everyone, not just oil and gas executives. President Obama is rushing to change the most egregious Bush-era policies as quickly as possible. So, environmentalists are heralding Obama's decision to review the request by California and 13 other states to establish strict limits on greenhouse gas emissions (the main cause of global warming) from cars and trucks, something the Bush Administration repeatedly fought. He also ordered the Transportation Department to begin plans for stricter vehicle emission standards. While Detroit might try to fight these policies, they don't have much ground to stand on, with their fantastically failing businesses that were built lately on gas-guzzling vehicles that aren't favored much these days by the US public.
I'm scared about the prospects of global warming. It's frightening and it's happening now (sorry, I know this is a depressing Monday morning blog, but this is based on real science, not Bush-era pro-oil antics). But, there's a glimmer of hope now for sound, science-based policies that will drastically cut our emissions, reduce our dependence on foreign oil and make the United States a leader on global warming. But, the Obama Administration cannot stop global warming on its own. All of us are required to take action to address the greatest threat to our planet now by reducing our emissions. Learn more with the Natural Resources Defense Council.