Friday, June 7, 2013

What to Do on Climate

What to Do on Climate?

George M. Woodwell

            Bill McKibben and his 350 organization are correct……and as close to effective as anyone can be in pushing a distracted administration to constructive action. 

            But what action? 

            What can we tell the administration to do right now after rejecting the Keystone Pipeline and withdrawing all support for the disastrous Canadian tar sands project?

            The answer is straightforward, well defined, and already ratified by the Congress of the US and by the rest of the world.  We must implement the agreement reached in 1992 when we and all other nations signed the Framework Convention on Climate Change. All agreed to stabilize the composition  of the atmospheric burden of heat-trapping gases at levels that would protect human interests and nature.   While we have passed that level, the objective remains and stabilization remains the first step in correcting a disastrous trend.

            We, the US, can take large further steps in reducing emissions, celebrate the steps already taken that are effective, and announce an aggressive series of policies in moving  rapidly toward other steps.  The steps must include reduction in methane as well as carbon dioxide emissions, but they require no further action by the Congress which has made the Convention the law of the land.

            The moment is now and the initiative is in the hands of our presidential leadership.

            Let’s remind him that he’s in charge and the stakes are very high.

                                                            Woods Hole,  June 7, 2013