• Where has all the clean air gone?

    CARB’s new laws are passed
    by Jon Guthrie

    The California Air Resources Board (CARB) is striking at the poor quality of air as a primary cause of local (and global) warming. The legislature has agreed, and Governor Schwarzenegge promises to sign the bill.
    Pacific Grovians, asked for opinions about the new rules, responded with mixed voices. Many proclaimed the changes are a long-overdue necessity. Others, however, bemoaned the rules as too stringent, too restrictive, and too costly.
    Laid out in a hefty book that requires 75 pages for its presentation, the thirty-one rules impact people and businesses in ways that most can’t imagine. CARB seeks to control everything from the sort of vehicles people purchase to the kitchen appliances they use to what materials are preferred in construction. CARB also hopes to dampen the amount of gasoline and other fuels used, eventually eliminate gas-guzzlers, and lessen smog. Failure to comply will result in heavy fines.
    A coordinator for the Union of Concerned Scientists (Berkeley) reported that the new rules will also produce a significant emphasis on developing renewable resources. The report calls for increasing “clean” energy to 33% of all energy used by the year 2020. A spokesperson said that such unprecedented steps will slash the production of gases that trap heat. The state of California will also become a “clean-up” model for the nation and the world.
    Too encourage prompt adoption of the measures, corporations will be offered financial incentives. Individuals, too, can qualify for such motivators as being paid cash for using clean-utilities (either purchased or home processed) and rebates (nick-named freebates) paid to those purchasing automobiles that are fueled by clean-energy and emit low amounts of carbon dioxide.
    CARP admitted that the plan stacks up as costly-especially in the face of a more than $40 billion budget deficit-but promised that it will be worth the expense. That’s because of the eventual tab if we do nothing.

    Climate change refers to long-term changes in temperature, precipitation, wind patters, and other elements of the earth’s climate system. The California Climate Change intergovernmental group defines climate change as any change in climate over time, whether due to natural variability or as a result of human activity. Increasing thought holds that warming can be attributed to greenhouse gases, particularly those generated from the human production and use of fossil fuels. The term “climate change” is synonymous with “global warming”.
    Source: Encarta Encyclopedia

    Global temperatures have increased by about one degree over the past 100 years and worse is predicted. Perhaps one degree sounds harmless, but the 1990s shaped up as the warmest-years decade since 1861 … which was the year the keeping of global records began. In 2006, the average temperature in the United States climbed to 55 degrees (F), 2.2 degrees above this century’s mean temperature.
    What’s going on in and around Pacific Grove? The level of the sea has climbed almost eight inches. Shorelines and beaches are standing in line to be damaged. Reservoir levels are also falling while streams and rivers dry into trickles, never mind the heavy rains of the past few days.
    The changing climate also means less fog, those huge clouds of condensed water and ice crystals PG is famed for. The rising sea level causes more salt-water intrusion into natural reservoirs and tanks. Salmon perish because of the changing conditions near breeding sanctuaries. More forest fires are waiting to be ignited. And-perhaps most noxious of all-insects and bugs are set to thrive … watch out for those approaching clouds of mosquitoes!
    But California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger says there is a bit of good news. He expects the new regulations will not only clean up the air, the economy will be stimulated by doing so.
    The CARB program begins in 2012.


    posted to Cedar Street Times on January 2, 2009

    Topics: Green

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