24 March 2007

Global Climate Change: Gore's Proposal Makes Sense, says Washington Post

The Washington Post's Warren Brown, writing in his column to be published in tomorrow, says that former veep Al Gore's proposal to Congress earlier this week "actually made sense, especially on the matter of fuel economy and its relationship to global warming." And he offers a challenge to Congressional leaders on the issue, include Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA).

"Don't single out cars and trucks," Gore said, adding that carbon emissions from motor vehicles constitute "a slice of the problem," and not the biggest slice at that.

He went on to suggest that Congress abandon its habitual blame-shifting, responsibility-dodging approach to energy conservation. He asked his former colleagues to draft legislation that would require contributions from all Americans -- industrialists and retailers, politicians and consumers. Yikes! Gore even called for increased taxes on fuels via taxation of carbon content.

"That's gutsy and smart," Brown writes. "Gore's proposal embraces the reality that energy conservation is a two-part problem involving industries and their consumers. It recognizes that trying to solve the problem by working only one side of the equation, the industrial side, is doomed to ultimate failure."

The challenge, according to Brown, is for Congress to get beyond its usual wishy-washy encouragement of energy conservation and stop pretending that you can put the burden of carbon reduction -- or paying for the right to pollute -- on industry. He observes that Gore, as a "free man" not a candidate, can suggest such things as higher energy taxes, because he's no longer in anybody's pocket. This isn't the case for Boxer and others who, Brown asserts, practice a sort of "voodoo environmentalism."

By turning a blind eye on the consumer responsibility, in other words, Congress neglects to remember what their mothers taught them, that a burden shared is a lighter load.

Read Warren Brown's commentary in the Washington Post.

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