Global Warming: A Time to Act

Global Warming: A Time to Act

An international consensus has been forged: Global warming is real. It is already happening. And greenhouse gas emissions produced by human activity, such as the burning of fossil fuels, tropical deforestation, and agriculture – are the leading cause of that warming.

The earth has already warmed 1 degree Fahrenheit – and scientists predict that the warming trend will continue in the decades to come. The simple truth is that the warming cannot be stopped, but it can be slowed. We are at a tipping point: If the earth warms 1 to 2 degrees Fahrenheit, the impact will be manageable, and we can adapt. But if the earth warms 4 to 10 degrees, the effects will be catastrophic. The question becomes, what can we do? The reality is that there is no silver bullet. There is no single solution. We need many answers and people of common purpose working together.

That is why I am working on a comprehensive package of legislation to reduce greenhouse gas emissions – the leading cause of global warming – from all sectors of the economy. Every business, home, and industry will have to do its part.

There are five bills in total:
  • The second bill will be a mandatory cap-and-trade program for industrial and corporate polluters, modeled after the electricity sector program. (in progress)
  • Finally, a bill to establish a national energy-efficiency program, modeled after California’s program. By 2020, the bill would reduce emissions from electric and natural gas utilities by 9 percent below projected levels. And the updated building codes would reduce emissions from new homes and new buildings by 25 percent below projected levels. (in progress)
It is an ambitious agenda, but I believe it is the right way to go.

Congress has a window to act. If we act boldly and quickly, then perhaps we can make a difference.

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