Life is back to normal in New England after last weekend’s snowstorm dumped about 24 inches or more on parts of the region. Ted and Rob are getting ready to go to Washington for this weekend’s Keystone XL protest, but there is other news, so settle in and let’s talk about what’s happening in Massachusetts and beyond relative to climate change this week.
Here are some links to go along with our talk this morning.
The President laid down the law at the State of the Union this week; if congress doesn’t act to pass a market-based carbon reduction program, he will use the power of his administration to act.
Derrick Jackson of the Boston Globe opines that the President’s threat of increased regulation will drive legislators to embrace cap-and-trade programs, like the successful RGGI program. You can read his editorial here, grab it before it goes behind the paywall.
The President’s speech ignited another round of supposition about a possible Carbon Tax-for-Keystone trade, in US as well as in Canada. Would the President try and appease both the fossil fuel lobby and the environmental lobby by offering a deal on both issues? Or would that just create two unhappy camps?
In the midst of this discussion, Senators Barbara Boxer and Bernard Sanders have filed a “cap and dividend” bill to impose a carbon tax, and disperse (much) of the proceeds to taxpayers.
The coming abdication of Pope Benedict presents a possibility for a new vigor about climate change from the Catholic Church. A non-European pope, particularly a southern-hemisphere pope, may redirect Rome’s attention on the planetary suffering that will ensue from Climate Change. While the primary experience of climate conscious Catholics has been one of deafening silence, there are groups within the church paying attention to Climate Change.
In other meteorlogical news (har har, couldn’t resist) later today asteroid 2012DA14 will come as close to Earth as we’re likely comfortable with. 2012DA14 will actually pass closer to the planet than the orbit of several satellites, and yesterday a meteor streaked across the sky in Russia, causing injuries to hundreds and causing quite a commotion.
We mention this, not because unlike certain newsreaders on CNN we’re trying to tie these events to climate change, but to point out that this is the “bright shiny object” syndrome that drives news coverage and media attention, while the inexorable march of climate change caused by human emissions of greenhouse gasses, goes if not mocked than underreported — and has consequences orders of magnitude larger than 2012DA14 or that meteor over Russia!
Fortunately there are some weather people paying attention. Kudos to Boston’s own Channel 5 meteorologist Harvey Leonard who explained very clearly and calmly that while you can’t go and pin the development of a winter storm on climate change, the trend toward larger and larger storms is very clearly due to climate change and associated warming. Good on ‘ya Harvey — we loved you when you were announcing school was out when we were kids, and we love you now.
Remember – our annual conference is coming up March 10th at Northeastern University. Register today to get the early bird rate!
Well we’ll see you in Washington, and as always — remember, for these reasons we have discussed, the United States must place a price on carbon.