News Release

Record Temps: Concrete Solutions

AP reports: “America set an off-the-charts heat record in 2012. … Breaking temperature records by an entire degree is unprecedented, scientists say. Normally, records are broken by a tenth of a degree or so.” Reuters reports: “Australia’s record-breaking heatwave has sent temperatures soaring, melting road tar and setting off hundreds of wildfires — as well as searing new colors onto weather maps.”

JOHN TALBERTH [email]
President and senior economist for the Center for Sustainable Economy, Talberth said today: “It is utterly irresponsible for the Obama administration to be pouring billions of dollars into new fossil fuel infrastructure when all the evidence suggests we’re on the worst case trajectory for global warming. Scientists say we need to leave 60-80 percent of new fossil fuels in the ground if we are to avert a global meltdown, something we cannot achieve as long as taxpayer money continues to be used to subsidize new coal mines, deepwater wells, gas fields, pipelines and export terminals.”

The Center for Sustainable Economy recently sued the Obama administration over its “decision to authorize a new five year offshore oil and gas leasing program that includes many new deepwater wells in the Gulf of Mexico and Alaska citing biased economic analysis that fails to consider the benefits of Gulf and Alaskan waters and shores for fisheries, tourism and other uses jeopardized by new oil and gas infrastructure development.”

DAPHNE WYSHAM, via Lacy MacAuley [email]
Wysham is a fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies and is the founder and co-director of the Sustainable Energy and Economy Network. She said today: “Although Obama has signaled that climate change will be a policy priority in his second term, it is not clear whether by that he means causing or slowing climate change. President Obama wants … an ‘all of the above’ energy strategy, meaning greater energy efficiency and the expansion of oil, gas and coal mining and nuclear power. Such a strategy dooms the U.S. and the world to higher temperatures, more nuclear accidents and higher energy prices. Meanwhile, poor countries like Uruguay are on track to 90 percent renewable energy by 2015 and rich countries like Germany and Denmark are on track to 100 percent renewable energy by 2050 if not sooner. The U.S., with vastly more sun and wind resources, can and should do more to pull us from the brink of climate catastrophe.”

CHRISTIAN PARENTI [email]
Parenti is author of “Tropic of Chaos: Climate Change and the New Geography of Violence.” He said today: “There’s a lot that could be done with existing laws and budgets. The EPA could impose a carbon tax under the Clean Air Act and fund a plethora of renewable energy programs. Federal and state governments have enormous budgets, accounting for one-third of GDP. They have a huge number of buildings and enormous fleets of vehicles. The buildings could all be retrofitted, the vehicles could be electric ones. If the government were to become a user of clean energy, that would be a tremendous tool.” Parenti outlined these ideas in a 2010 piece “The Big Green Buy.”