Sunday, March 01, 2009

Texas Climate Emergency Campaign

The primary focus of the Texas Tea Pad is drug policy reform. That's my "issue".

But it won't make any difference if we end drug prohibition, or make any other type of social change, if the world governments don't find a way to end greenhouse gas emissions.

According to the Texas Climate Emergency Campaign (TCEC):
  • The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is a scientific intergovernmental body of over 2500 scientists, half from the US, tasked to evaluate the risk of climate change caused by human activity.
  • In 2007 and by its consensus process IPCC said:
    Emission cuts of 25-40% under 1990 levels by 2020 will give us a 50/50 chance of avoiding 2 degrees C above preindustrial. Most scientists agree that if we reach this temperature it will automatically lead to 3 and 4 Degrees C above pre-industrial. Nature will have taken over.
  • As much as half of Africa’s food production will be gone by 2020 according to the IPCC
  • The Himalayan glaciers will be gone by 2035 according to the IPCC if the world keeps warming at the current rate. Over 40% of the world’s people will lose half their water.
  • If we stopped all emissions today, there are enough present emissions that the changes underway won’t be reversed for over 1000 years. This is from a recent report by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
  • This year the US Congress will pass a bill and in the December the UN will sign an agreement to succeed the Kyoto Protocols. The quality of the UN agreement will be largely determined by the US bill as the developing countries of the world are of the opinion that the US has profited greatly from its emissions and must take the lead.
  • TCEC recommends that the coming congressional bill have emission cuts of at least 25-40% under 1990 levels by 2020. TCEC also wants some agency such as the National Academy of Sciences or the EPA to be empowered to make recommendations to the US Congress if we need to make even deeper emission cuts.

Read the League of Women Voters position paper The United States Must Take Aggressive Action to Cut its Greenhouse Gas Emissions to Stablize Earth's Climate. Or this sobering report from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Assocation (NOAA) New Study Shows Climate Change Largely Irreversible.

It all sounds pretty dire, but Jere Locke of TCEC assured me that he wouldn't be working on the issue if he didn't believe it were possible to make a difference.

The TCED flyer states:

The good news is that we have the solutions to the problem of climate change. These answers are energy efficiency, which gives us the cheapest and fastestcuts in emissions, plus solar and wind power, redoing the electrical grids, new cars, etc. There is no need to wait for clean coal or hydrogen power. More good news is that Texas will greatly benefit from the solution as it has huge wind and solar resources. Already, wind power installations cover large portions of the wind alley in West Texas. Some entrepreneurs will get rich and many Texans will get good jobs at the very time our economy needs help.

For information on how to get involved, go to


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