By: MARY OREN - commentary | Thursday, December 13, 2007 7:48 PM PST ∞
It's been a big week around the world for those of us tuned into events and legislation addressing the issue of global warming. Locally, the cover story on the Business page of the North County Times (Dec. 12, "Plugging hybrids: The wave of the future" ), revealing Poway resident Kim Adelman's personal commitment to going green by creating a business of hybrid plug-in conversions, powered in his case by solar, was inspiring and something thrilling to look forward to.
Events around the world put Adelman's work in that much more of a positive light and matched the challenge Al Gore made with his mighty speech in Oslo, Norway, where he received the Nobel Peace Prize and asked us what we're going to do to rise to the planetary emergency Adelman also mentioned.
Elsewhere, delegates from more than 180 countries have met in Bali, Indonesia, to discuss and renew efforts with the Kyoto Protocol. Here, in our country, the Energy Independence and Security Act made it through the House of Representatives.
Add to it the bipartisan committee work under Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif, on a bill mandating reductions in greenhouse gases ---- ready to present to Congress early next year ---- and it's fair to say we're taking big steps in the right direction.
It's that disturbing statement by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change that came out a few weeks ago that said the effects of global warming are accelerating faster than before that reaches our deeper sense of urgency.
Rajendra K. Pachauri, chairman of the IPCC, also honored with a Nobel Peace Prize, clarified that efforts we postpone now will make efforts needed later that much more drastic and difficult.
Contrast the events in Bali, where smaller governments like Japan and Australia are showing big efforts for change, but China and the United States seem to be playing the "I'm not going to if you're not going to" game. Regrettably, they look like a couple of big kids on the block who, rather than agree to the concept of cap and trade, have chosen to fold their arms in some silly standoff.
This isn't a time for standoffs. What we need is responsible domestic and global cooperation and a collective willingness to rise to the purpose to meet this challenge, and that means everyone from voters on up to those who represent us.
The majority of Americans consider global warming a threat. This view should be represented fairly in Congress. It's time our local elected officials hear from us, considering three in our region voted against recent action. Casting one vote during the election represents many other votes to come. It's something to remember when we hit the polls.
Understanding global warming today was made possible by a noble patriot with a purpose. Al Gore deserves the Nobel Peace Prize for his devotion to this planet and humanity. He's done his job, Kim Adelman is doing his part, and the rest of us need to do ours.
Mary Oren lives in Carlsbad.