To the editor:
The House of Representatives have passed a global warming control bill called the American Clean Energy and Security Act. For the sake of our climate, our ecosystems, and ourselves, it must be strengthened as it makes its way through the Senate.
If implemented, the bill would give all of us — at best — a 50/50 chance of experiencing catastrophic runaway global warming, with results like the extinction of polar bears, loss of agricultural yields, and dangerous reductions in the water supply for billions of people. To avoid these events, the best available science says we must make goals to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions enough to quickly lower atmospheric carbon levels to 350 ppm or below — which the American Clean Energy and Security Act fails miserably at doing.
At the same time, the bill would discard our ability to use other laws, like the Clean Air Act, to regulate polluters and act as a global warming backstop. In fact, the Clean Air Act can already be employed, with no alteration, to quickly and effectively reduce greenhouse gas emissions to the necessary levels.
We can't let legislation flip a coin to determine the fate of our planet, species, and communities. Any new anti-global warming law must include faster, more significant emissions-reduction measures and work with the Clean Air Act to definitively stave off devastating climate change disaster.