Senate Committee debates climate change action costs today

Wed, 2007-05-09 10:26Kevin Grandia
Kevin Grandia's picture

Senate Committee debates climate change action costs today

Its refreshing to see the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee moving on from a debate over whether global warming is a hoax, to one of what to do about ever-increasing US greenhouse gas emissions.

Today the hearing was on the subject of “Emerging Technologies and Practices for Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions.”

Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), Chair of the EPW committee, cited evidence from former World Bank Chief Economist, Nicolas Stern's report that an investment now in significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions would pay off 5 to 1 in the long-term.

Senator Joe Liebermann (I-Conn) used the recent IPCC Summary for Policymakers to make the argument that affordable and effective technologies already exist to significantly curb US greenhouse gas emissions. The IPCC report out last week found that the worldwide cost of significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions would be about .12% of the world's GDP - roughly $10 for every man, woman and child to save the planet.

And finally, and not surpirsingly, Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK), waved about a report claiming that curbing greenhouse gas would cost the United States $366 billion a year by 2015. This is the same Inhofe who last year claimed that if the US adopted the Kyoto Accord it would “shut down agriculture, military and oil production in Oklahoma.” This is also the same Senator who, ironically enough, leads the charge (mainly on his own) against the global warming “alarmists.”

Seems to me that Inhofe is the one most savvy in the art of alarmism. But at least Inhofe is now contributing to a debate on what to do about global warming and that's encouraging considering it was only a few short months ago that we were watching Inhofe invite self-fulfilling hearing testimony backing his claim that the threat of catastrophic global warming was “the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people.”

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