Year 2, Month 5, Day 29: Happy Whatever.

Another response to the UK plan to reduce GG emissions 50% by 2027, this one going to the San Francisco Chronicle.

Sent May 17:

Britain’s plans for drastic reductions in greenhouse gas emissions show that at least one government in the industrialized West is taking the threat of climate change seriously — which implies that the UK’s political establishment is capable of thinking in the long term. America, however, is paralyzed — incapable of any meaningful response, let alone one that unleashes our country’s creative and adaptive potential. The climate-change denialists currently in controlling the House of Representatives have a pathological resistance to scientific evidence, a proven inability to think beyond the next electoral cycle, and fiscal ties to the fossil fuel industry — a deadly combination of ignorance, cupidity and shortsightedness that should be an immediate disqualification for any elected office in this country. With our country’s unique combination of expertise and imagination, we could handily outdo Great Britain in emissions reduction — if we can stop denying the existence of climate change.

Warren Senders

May 29 is my birthday. I’m 53.

Year 2, Month 5, Day 28: Great. Really Great.

Great Britain does the right thing:

BRUSSELS — Britain is poised to announce some of the world’s most ambitious goals for reducing greenhouse gas emissions — a striking example of a government committing to big environmental initiatives while also pursuing austerity measures.

Chris Huhne, the secretary of state for energy and climate change, is expected to release a statement on Tuesday that the British government will set in law a goal to cut its greenhouse gas emissions about 50 percent by 2025.

That reduction, based on 1990 levels, would be far deeper than the European Union’s goal of cutting emissions 20 percent by 2020, and it would mean that Britain would make faster emissions cuts than other similar size countries, including Germany. The goal could require households to spend on new energy-saving devices for the home. It could also revive stalled government support for large projects, like those that capture power from tides and that bury carbon dioxide emissions.

Sent on May 16:

What a pleasure it is to read about a governmental response to climate change that takes the threat seriously enough, although it’s too bad that the government in question isn’t our own. Britain’s laudable program for phasing out greenhouse emissions shows that there are still a few places in the world where politicians don’t ignore scientific expertise as a matter of policy. In the US, alas, an anti-reality party controls half of Congress, effectively paralyzing us when it comes to climate issues. If global warming’s effects were simply props for the usual political theater, it wouldn’t really matter — but given that they’re increasingly likely to include what biologists delicately call an “evolutionary bottleneck” for our own species as well as countless others, isn’t it time for American politicians to emulate Britain, and get down to the serious work of changing our national energy economy once and for all?

Warren Senders