Home > Austin, health, nature, sustainability > Step It Up: reduce carbon emmissions

Step It Up: reduce carbon emmissions

the Step It Up website is really slow right now, so i can’t completely understand who or what they are – but the basic gist seems to be public involvement and education to get congress to reduce US greenhouse gas emissions.  their target is 80% reduction by 2050.  that’s ambitious for the US b/c our govt. is loathe to do anything – at least the Bush Admin. is.

just today Bush held a press conference, and one of the questions posed was in regard to the recent Supreme Court decision that it is the EPA’s responsibility to set carbon emission guidelines for the US – this came in relation to setting emission reductions for vehicles.  Bush then replies that his administration has done a smashing job addressing global warming and that there they’ve produced a plan that only needs to be approved by Congress.  what’s the plan?  pushing ethanol instead of gas.  that is not a plan, and ethanol is most definitely not the answer.  in fact, i’m rather against corn-based ethanol.  not only is it an inefficient way to produce ethanol (sugar based ethanol produces far more energy), it’s merely a kickback to america’s farmers.  i’m all for helping out an industry if it’s in the best interest, but this is not.  first of all, encouraging corn production is going to result in a single-crop industry, which will be ripe at some point for a major blight.  then it will encourage genetically modified corn – and of course the genetically modified corn can’t be kept under control and will eventually infiltrate the food supply.  additionally, falling back onto corn ethanol won’t encourage auto makers to increase fuel efficiency – such a simple thing that would save so much gas.  and it also does nothing to support research and implementation of alternative fuels such as solar, wind, biomass, geothermal, wave hydroelectric, etc.

in fact, Bush replied that he won’t support any type of carbon emission capping because it will hurt the American economy, and that in order to move forward with carbon reduction the country must be prosperous in order to pay for research and technology to reduce carbon emissions.  catch-22.  if China and India don’t jump on board w/ the same restrictions imposed on the US, then he won’t support any restrictions – they would more than offset any of our reductions.  so by this logic, we shouldn’t do anything until they also come to the table.  what about lead by example?  what about thinking of the health of our country and its citizens, and the greater world for that matter?  what about our quality of life?  the US is the leader of the free world, and has been the moral arbiter of the 20th c.  obviously the Bush Admin. has kind of screwed that up moving forward, but they maintain that their actions are moral.  so how is this not the most pressing moral issue facing modern civilization?

so what it comes down to is a grass roots movement to bring the US more inline w/ reality and the rest of the world.  this movement has obviously been gaining momentum recently, as green this and sustainable that makes headlines every other day – heck, i’m graduating architecture w/ a specialization in sustainable design!  just recently, TXU was bought out and 8 of 11 proposed coal power (fast-tracked by Gov. Perry) plants were scrapped due to massive opposition, and the 3 remaining now look like they’ll be required to be clean coal.  it really makes you wonder about the energy crisis doomsday scenario pushed by TXU if those plants were not to be built.  in fact, i was at the anti-coal rally here in Austin the other month.  it’s only by being vocal that anything will happen.

so if anybody here in Austin wants to join me at the Step It Up rally on the capital steps on April 14 from 12-2p, your body and voice are appreciated.  if you’re not in Austin, Step It Up rallies are occurring all over the country on  April 14.  go to  stepitup2007.org to find out the location for your local rally.  get involved!

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