Global warming is the most important environmental question we've
ever faced, by an order of magnitude. What does it mean that humans are
now warming the earth? It means that we've become big enough as a species
to alter every square inch of the planet, and it means that somehow we've
got to summon the self-restraint necessary to make ourselves smaller, in
numbers and in appetite. Climate change is our final exam as a species,
ready or not. Bill McKibben Author of The End of Nature
Climate change means boom time for the ol' U.S. of A. Think of the
global demand for seawalls, bioengineered agriculture, and hazard insurance.
My advice to ditherers: maximize your climate leverage. Consume more feedlot
meat and rice to increase methane emission. Move to the suburbs. Buy a
big truck and drive alone. Oppose carbon taxes, green candidates,
and cost-effective building codes. Continuing our nation's proud heritage
of energy profligacy will surely increase our cost of living, but the Chamber
of Commerce will thank you. Rick Heede Research Scholar Rocky Mountain Institute
The hyper-consumerist industrial mode of activity is pushing humanity
over the brink. For human beings to live on this planet in dignity requires
a radical reduction in carbon emissions. Thoughtful observers estimate
that an 80 to 90 percent reduction is needed. That can be done--but only
if the complacency of today's leadership is exchanged for wisdom and decisive
actions. Don't wait for Washington! Jerry Brown Former Governor of California
As long as the warming scenarios remain mild, as predicted by climate
scientists, the magnitudes of the benefits to the U.S. economy would exceed
the damages by $30 billion to $40 billion. Although we should monitor global
warming carefully, it does not require rash and expensive mitigation strategies.
We have time to further study its impacts and determine prudent responses. Robert Mendelsohn School of Forestry and Environmental Studies Yale University
The big polluters of the oil, auto, and coal industries fund "skeptics"
to pump out the myth that global warming doesn't exist, and lobby Bill
Clinton and Congress with the message that "we can't afford to stop
global warming now. Let's wait 20 or 30 years and see if our kids can."
But what will happen to endangered species when a changing climate has
killed off their food sources and dried up their water sources? What will
happen to old-growth forests when rising temperatures spur insect infestations?
What will happen to wilderness when our recklessness kills off the plants
and animals who call it home? Global warming isn't some big, far-off threat.
It's affecting the backyards of each and every one of us today. Steve Pedery Sierra Club Global Warming and Energy Team
To provide a legacy for future generations, as well as to avoid geopolitical
conflict, we must develop an environmentally benign pattern of technologies
to turn global warming around. What we need to do to reverse the trend-namely,
increase our energy efficiency and advance sustainable energy-we should
do for other reasons as well, such as more efficient economies, less air,
water, and soil pollution, and national security. Energy efficiency is
almost a closed-book issue: the waste in air-conditioning, home appliances,
and power generators has been overwhelmingly demonstrated. There can be
a dramatic reduction in energy consumption. Alternative technologies, whether
solar panels, wind power, or biomass are feasible, economic, and, if you
consider the long-range costs of fossil fuel and nuclear power, the best
bargains around. Ralph Nader Consumer Advocate