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Boxer’s Radio Jab on Global Warming

June 1st, 2008 · No Comments

Saturday, Senator Barbara Boxer gave the Democratic Radio Address.

She spoke about the urgent need for our nation to act on global warming before it’s too late.

This talk has material that merits cheering and other parts that merit groans. Join me after the fold for an examination of why Senator Boxer merits some Cheers and some (strong) Jeers.

Good morning. I’m Senator Barbara Boxer from California and Chairman of the Environment and Public Works Committee.

Yes. Elections do have consequences, Senator Inhofe. “Chairman Barbara Boxer …”

Next week, the Senate will begin debate on one of the most important issues of our time — global warming.

“One of the most important …” If we’re lucky, it will only be “one of” rather than “the most important issue”.

Yes.

Critically important.

And, critical.

Senators have come together across party lines to write a law that will not only enable us to avoid the ravages of unchecked global warming, but will create millions of new jobs and put us on the path to energy independence. Other benefits of our legislation will be cleaner air, energy efficiency, relief for consumers and the alternative energy choices that American families deserve.

This is where Senator Boxer goes (FAR) astray. While we can fight Global Warming with Federal action that will “avoid the ravages of unchecked global warming” and “create millions of new jobs and put us on the path to energy independence”. And, we can have “cleaner air, energy efficiency …” All of this is possible. And, all of this is critical as part of sensible Global Warming legislation. Lieberman-Warner is not that sensible legislation.

“To avoid the ravages of unchecked global warming” requires doing something serious about emissions. As per the Physicians for Social Responsibility,

The bill would have the U.S. reduce emissions at affected facilities by approximately 19 percent in the next decade and then continue on a declining path after that. Unfortunately, this would be well short of the earlier goals of reaching a 20 percent reduction below 1990 levels that PSR has supported based on the best modeling data and scientific information available.

In other words, on its face, Lieberman-Warner would cut emissions by 2020 at roughly half the pace that science calls for (that 19 percent would put US roughly at 1990 levels). However, “on its face” is a highly optimistic statement about impacts that doesn’t take into account provisions for borrowing against future emissions and the impact of foreign offsets. Lieberman-Warner is structured such that US emissions would likely not fall from current levels until the late 2020s. We need to fall roughly 45 percent below current levels by 2020 “to avoid the ravages of unchecked global warming” and this bill would lead to no cuts below today’s levels until years after that.

Back to Senator Boxer,

And, by acting wisely, America will regain the leadership we have lost these past seven years.

Yes, “by acting wisely,” we can become recapture positive leadership.

There are some in the Senate who insist that global warming is nothing more than science fiction. These are the same kind of voices who said that the world was flat, cigarettes were safe and cars didn’t need airbags – long after the rest of us knew the truth.

It is sad that, for whichever set of reasons, there are those who fight hard to reject evidence, to pursue “sound science” in their efforts to reject reality. And, some of them are colleagues of Senator Boxer …

The fact is that the overwhelming majority of scientists say that the earth is in peril if we don’t act now. They’ve told us clearly that more than 40 percent of God’s creatures could face extinction if we don’t act now. They’ve told us of more intense weather events if we don’t act now. Health experts have told us that infectious diseases will increase due to warmer waters. And military leaders have told us that unchecked global warming will lead to severe conflict and war as droughts, floods and rising sea levels create huge numbers of desperate refugees.

Yes …

These are people to listen to, people warning of devastating implications from failure to take sensible actions to change our paths going forward on energy issues and global warming.

I hope you will help us convince the negative voices that we must act now to avert these dangers. Tell the Bush administration to help us, not fight us. Tell your Senators that action now will have positive results for our families and our nation. Tell those skeptics who say ‘wait for China and India to act’ that the America we know and love doesn’t hide from a challenge and wait for others to lead.

What is acting now?

  • Fighting for a bill that won’t impose a cap until 2012, but which includes provisions that undercut that cap’s seriousness?
  • Fighting for a bill that gives away $100s of billions (if not $trillion+) to serial polluters?
  • Fighting for a bill that would almost certain doom us (the US) and the globe to catastrophic climate change?
  • We can “act now” with sensible energy actions, to spark moves toward renewable energy and energy efficiency. We can fight hard to get more representation in Congress, the White House, and state capitals with people who will work with Senator Boxer in the fight for sensible energy and global warming policies.

    “Right now, many of our states, including my home state, are leading. They have the will. Our mayors are leading. They have the will. Religious leaders have urged us to act now as well. They reminded me of a wonderful quote that motivates me to work as hard as I can for as long as it takes to responsibly address global warming. These words stay with me: ‘When God created the first man, he took him around to all the trees in the Garden of Eden and said to him “see my handiwork, how beautiful and choice they are. Be careful not to ruin and destroy my world, for if you do ruin it, there is no one to repair it after you.”‘

    Senator Boxer, I believe you. I believe that you are fighting to “responsibly address global warming.” Lieberman-Warner does not meet that benchmark. It is time to walk away from it.

    “I truly hope that you will support our efforts on the Senate floor. Please join our fight, and thanks for listening.”

    No, Senator, I cannot support “efforts on the Senate floor” is support of Lieberman-Warner.

    I would hope that, even at this late a moment, you realize how bad the compromise process has gotten and decide to pull the plug on this terminally-flawed piece of legislation.

  • Enough is enough.
  • It is time for us (US) to speak up loudly.
  • It is time for the Senate leadership to lead.
  • It is time for Senator Barbara Boxer to openly recognize the disaster that the compromising process has created.
  • Moving the bill to the floor for debate and votes has become extremely counterproductive.
  • As I’ve written multiple times, I have a tremendous amount of respect and appreciation for Senator Boxer’s efforts over the years to help turn the nation toward more sensible and more sustainable paths. Yet … she has gone astray from that path with the compromising that created the monster that is Lieberman-Warner.

    Yes, Senator Boxer, “Elections have Consequences.” The 2008 election will have consequences. You will have fewer of those who deny Global Warming in the Senate. We will have a President who cares about Global Warming. Lieberman-Warner falls recklessly short of what is required. Since you have no chance of getting a good bill in this Senate, why not DITCH IT and FIX it come January with President Obama?

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    Tags: analysis · cap and trade · carbon dioxide · Congress · emissions · Energy · Global Warming · global warming deniers · government energy policy · lieberman-warner · Uncategorized