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Initiative 1631 For Clean Air

 

 

The above graph shows  the monthly averages for CO2 ending in September.  The levels of CO2 are higher than they were 3 million years ago.  The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change issued a report on October 8th.  It stated that the temperature increase since the industrial revolution is now at 1 degree centigrade and that change is responsible for many of the problems the world is seeing now.  The report  states that with the current increases of green house gases, especially CO2,  we will see a global temperature rise of another 0.5 degrees likely between 2030 and 2052.  The report states that a global warming of 2 degrees has profoundly more negative impacts than 1.5 degrees centigrade.   However, to hold global warming to only another 0.5 degrees will require some very drastic measures in reducing CO2 emissions.  That is, we would not only need to  stop CO2 emissions by 2050, but also possibly begin removing it from the atmosphere.  What the report says is very dire about the future.  In 2015 the Paris Accords was an agreement to limit global warming to 1.5 or 2.0 degrees. Letting CO2 continue  to rise at over 2 parts/million each year could see a temperature increase of 5 degrees Centigrade by 2100 and that would be catastrophic.

William Nordhaus was awarded the Nobel Prize in Economic Science this year.  It was for his work on the economy and climate change.  In 2012 he wrote an editorial entitled “Why The Global Warming Skeptics are wrong” He wrote:  “The cost of waiting fifty years to begin reducing CO2 emissions….. is $4.1 trillion.”   This was written six years ago and the latest economic costs cited by the IPCC are much higher.  In the same article he also wrote:  “The claim that….carbon taxes would be  ruinous or disastrous to our societies does not stand up to serious economic analysis.”

Initiative 1631 is not a carbon tax but a fee on  carbon dioxide generators.  The big oil companies have put in over $20 million to fight it.  There is a lot of money to be made by the fossil fuel industry and they don’t want to give that up.  However, we must get away from putting ever more CO2 into the air.  This fee will be a first in the nation and if passed will encourage other states.  We must do something very soon and I- 1631 is a  small start.   Let’s give it a chance.

Contributed by Paul Snoey

 

About Paul Snoey

I have a degree in Biology and Environmental Science from WSU Vancouver
I am very fond of Gee Creek and Allen Canyon Creek and do a lot of volunteer work to restore these creeks.

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