Tuesday, March 15, 2011

How Many Disasters Would It Take To Wake Up Americans?

BP oil spills.  Japan nuclear plant melt-down.  Mideast oil producing countries' unrest.  There have been plenty reasons for any sane person to recognize that our high-energy consumption life-style must change and we must reduce our over-reliance on coal, oil or nuclear powers.  The best effort to combat the increasingly unsustainable situation is to conserve and to be more energy efficient.

However, America is not a country overloaded with sane people.  We have too many reckless ideologues.  Let's looked at a San Francisco Chronicle article House GOP targets state's tough emission standards:
Taking advantage of a spike in gasoline prices, House Republicans are moving rapidly to gut California's landmark controls on greenhouse-gas emissions from cars as a way to prevent the tougher state standards from spreading nationwide.

The legislation, HR910, the Energy Tax Prevention Act, would revoke the Environmental Protection Agency's authority to grant California the federal waivers it needs to impose tougher fuel-efficiency requirements based on carbon emissions.

The federal government has granted California waivers under the Clean Air Act for four decades, allowing tougher state standards in recognition of the state's unique air pollution problems.

Revoking the waiver would eviscerate the state's implementation of AB32, the 2006 climate-change law signed by former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, Young [Stanley Young, a spokesman for the California Air Resources Board] said, because tailpipe emissions are a key source of carbon dioxide emissions.

Ranking committee Democrat Henry Waxman of Los Angeles issued a detailed analysis of the legislation that determined it would "repeal California's ability to regulate greenhouse-gas emissions from motor vehicles."

California regulations in the past have forced automakers to boost fuel efficiency in vehicles sold nationwide, because the state represents roughly one-tenth of the market for new vehicles.

"We believe California's standards have helped accelerate the penetration of cleaner, more efficient cars into the marketplace," Young said.
When would people learn any lesson?  History, unfortunately, repeats itself too often.  Perhaps, we are really heading towards the 2012 Mayan Doomsday?  If it happens, I am sure that we have only our human race to blame.

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