In U.S., Al Gore has more company on climate change now
As the climate debate shifts away from the blame game, there's a growing interest in climate-action strategy.
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Americans rate the environment as the third-highest "national problem," according to recent polling by GlobeScan quoted in Britain's Financial Times. A majority now views climate change as a serious problem, and nearly 60 percent say it'll be "necessary to take major steps very soon." The Financial Times piece continues:Skip to next paragraph
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"Paul Hanrahan, chief executive of the US power company AES, said: 'The pace at which understanding is growing in the US on climate change means that it will definitely be an issue in the elections [this] year. Politicians who choose to ignore it run the risk of suffering at the ballot box.' "
Whether or not those running for Congress and the presidency take steps to limit greenhouse-gas emissions, action will continue to happen at the state and local level, particularly in the Pacific Northwest. A story in the Kitsap (Wash.) Sun notes:
" 'The drivers of climate change are global, but the effects of climate change on Washington are local and unique,' Gov. Chris Gregoire said in an executive order designed to engage state agencies and citizens in efforts to deal with climate change."
In Oregon, an array of new environmental laws related to climate set standards for fuel, renewable power generation, and appliance efficiency. The Oregonian reports:
"The bills, passed by the 2007 Legislature and vigorously endorsed by Gov. Ted Kulongoski, address everything from the blends of ethanol in a car's fuel tank to the amount of wind-powered electricity in a home to the efficiency rating of a hot tub."
"Nuclear-fueled electricity is championed by all of the Republican front-runners. And, while the top contenders on the Democratic side cite serious concerns about safety, waste disposal, and plant security, only former Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina flatly opposes construction of new nuclear plants. "