Thursday, March 22, 2007

Gore on the Hill

Yesterday Al Gore was in town to testify before Senate and House committees on climate change. His testimony defined the seriousness of the problem and presented some possible solutions. His proposed solutions are fairly ambitious:

Gore's solutions were as sweeping as his metaphors. His recommendations began with the immediate national freeze on new emissions of carbon dioxide -- which could affect everything from cars to lawn mowers to coal-fired power plants -- and included an overhaul of the tax code. Payroll taxes should go down, Gore said, and taxes on polluters, especially those who emit carbon dioxide, should go up.

Beyond that, Gore recommended a ban on incandescent light bulbs, which activists say are far less energy-efficient than new compact fluorescent bulbs; raising the fuel-efficiency standards for cars; and a "carbon-neutral mortgage association." The last would allow homeowners to more easily finance renovations to improve energy efficiency, he said.
Whether any of this will be enacted remains to be seen. Serious action will probably have to wait until the political balance in Washington changes further. In the meantime, it is important to give the problem a high profile in the news, as the former vice president is doing.

You can find video clips of Gore's testimony at PoliticsTV: opening statement and highlights. Also, from Youtube, Senator Boxer scolds Senator Inhofe for rudeness.