Thursday, September 28, 2006

It's Getting Hot in Here

This week California made monumental strides in attempting to reduce the effects of Global Warming. Our state is the twelfth largest emitter of greenhouse gases in the world (the largest emitter being the United States) but will be reducing emissions by 25 percent before 2020. Effectively, the new plan will put our state in line with the Kyoto Protocols.

Not surprisingly, the Chamber of Commerce has strongly opposed this new law. They claim that the policy will put California business interests at a disadvantage. While this certainly could lead to reduced profits when the reduction begins in 2012, careful planning should be able to mitigate some of these costs.

The truth is, greenhouse gases are a real issue and we are facing a slow depletion of the ozone. Whether the current increase of global temperatures and frequency and severity of hurricanes is part of Global Warming or a cyclical trend is irrelevant. I don't need to discuss the dangers of global warming as I am sure you have already read all the statistics I could provide and remember the handouts we were all given in second grade explaining how we are going to go extinct like the dinosaurs.

The California business community has had no better friend than Governor Schwarzenegger. In his term, he has refused any increase in taxes and has done all that he can to improve the business climate here. His efforts have helped, too. Under his administration, business has increased here and the California economy is back on track.

This law, while not necessarily pro-business is good for California and good for the world. Some Republicans have argued that it would only be a drop in the bucket that is unlikely to effect any global change and should, therefore, be vetoed. In reality, not only can permanent reductions of California's emissions make a significant change in the fight on global warming, they can reduce smog, improve the health of Californians, reduce health care costs, and provide a model and incentive for other states and nations to follow.

It is time that Republicans either stop criticizing the Governor for his green policies or come up with better arguments against them.

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