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13 maart 2009

Obama moet 'Global Green Deal' sluiten

By Mark Hertsgaard, The Nation, February 25, 2009

Zie ook:

Korea to invest $38 billion in 'New Green Deal' (January 6, 2009)

Mark Hertsgaard Interviews Bill McKibben March 24 (March 20th, 2008)

Website Mark Hertsgaard

Opiniestuk Hertsgaard in NRC (16 januari 2008)

Al Gore denkt terecht dat een verandering van de publieke opinie inzake het klimaat belangrijker is dan een verandering van president, meent Mark Hertsgaard.

US Still Skeptical About Global Warming: Survey (March 13, 2009)

Amerikanen kan klimaatverandering niets meer schelen (januari'/februari 2009)

En mijn blognotities:
Hansen: aarde kan tweede Venus worden (11 maart 2009)
'Netherlands face catastrophic flooding' (9 maart 2009)

Toegevoegd 16 maart:

‘Obama and Lula need to bail out the Amazon’
America Unprepared for Climate Change, Say Policy Advisers

Over opiniepeiling herfst 2008:

Major survey finds overwhelming public support for action on global warming and clean energy
Climate Progress, March 17, 2009

Uit de brief (PDF) van NASA-klimaatexpert James ('Jim') Hansen en zijn vrouw aan Barack en Michelle Obama van december vorig jaar over noodzakelijke maatregelen:

(1) Moratorium and phase-out of coal plants that do not capture and store CO2

This is the sine qua non for solving the climate problem. Coal emissions must be phased out rapidly. Yes, it is a great challenge, but one with enormous side benefits.
Coal is responsible for as much atmospheric carbon dioxide as the other fossil fuels combined, and its reserves make coal even more important for the long run. Oil, the second greatest contributor to atmospheric carbon dioxide, is already substantially depleted, and it is impractical to capture carbon dioxide emitted by vehicles. But if coal emissions are phased out promptly, a range of actions including improved agricultural and forestry practices could bring the level of atmospheric carbon dioxide back down, out of the dangerous range.
As an example of coal’s impact consider this: continued construction of coal-fired power plants will raise atmospheric carbon dioxide to a level at least approaching 500 ppm (parts per million). At that level, a conservative estimate for the number of species that would be exterminated (committed to extinction) is one million. The proportionate contribution of a single power plant operating 50 years and burning ~100 rail cars of coal per day (100 tons of coal per rail car) would be about 400 species! Coal plants are factories of death. It is no wonder that young people (and some not so young) are beginning to block new construction.

(2) Rising price on carbon emissions via a carbon tax and 100% dividend

The physics of the matter, together with empirical data, also define the need for a carbon tax. Alternatives such as emission reduction targets, cap and trade, cap and dividend, do not work, as proven by honest efforts of the ‘greenest’ countries to comply with the Kyoto Protocol (...)
A rising price on carbon emissions is the essential underlying support needed to make all other climate policies work. For example, improved building codes are essential, but full enforcement at all construction and operations is impractical. A rising carbon price is the one practical way to obtain compliance with codes designed to increase energy efficiency.
A rising carbon price is essential to 'decarbonize' the economy, i.e., to move the nation toward the era beyond fossil fuels. The most effective way to achieve this is a carbon tax (on oil, gas, and coal) at the well-head or port of entry. The tax will then appropriately affect all products and activities that use fossil fuels. The public’s near-term, mid-term, and long-term lifestyle choices will be affected by knowledge that the carbon tax rate will be rising.
The public will support the tax if it is returned to them, equal shares on a per capita basis (half shares for children up to a maximum of two child-shares per family), deposited monthly in bank accounts. No large bureaucracy is needed. A person reducing his carbon footprint more than average makes money. A person with large cars and a big house will pay a tax much higher than the dividend. Not one cent goes to Washington. No lobbyists will be supported. Unlike cap-and-trade, no millionaires would be made at the expense of the public.
The tax will spur innovation as entrepreneurs compete to develop and market low-carbon
and no-carbon energies and products. The dividend puts money in the pockets of consumers, stimulating the economy, and providing the public a means to purchase the products.
A carbon tax is honest, clear and effective. It will increase energy prices, but low and middle income people, especially, will find ways to reduce carbon emissions so as to come out ahead. The rate of infrastructure replacement, thus economic activity, can be modulated by how fast the carbon tax rate increases. Effects will permeate society. Food requiring lots of carbon emissions to produce and transport will become more expensive and vice versa, encouraging support of nearby farms as opposed to imports from half way around the world.
The carbon tax has social benefits. It is progressive. It is useful to those most in need in hard times, providing them an opportunity for larger dividend than tax. It will encourage illegal immigrants to become legal, thus to obtain the dividend, and it will discourage illegal immigration because everybody pays the tax, but only legal citizens collect the dividend.
'Cap and trade' generates special interests, lobbyists, and trading schemes, yielding non productive millionaires, all at public expense. The public is fed up with such business. Tax with 100% dividend, in contrast, would spur our economy, while aiding the disadvantaged, the climate, and our national security.

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