I was going to try to work on some deadline-related projects today, but I haven't been able focus since reading my morning paper.
In it, Congressman Charlie Gonzalez broke his long and offending silence regarding his position on pending global warming legislation. He's been adamant about not commenting until a bill had been inked. This week, however, days before the draft bill will be debated and tweaked in markup session, he laid his cards on the table.
He will not support the the American Clean Energy and Security Act, he told Anton Caputo, until fellow lawmakers at the House Committee for Energy and Commerce scratch in the demands of our local city-owned utility, CPS Energy.
That means, 1) financial support for nuclear power and 2) free pollution credits for power plant owners.
Strangely, the same CPS Energy that goes before the San Antonio City Council this afternoon with a rate-hike request to fund a range of conservation and renewable-energy goals, has also spent more than $90,000 lobbying against cap-and-trade legislation. Now it appears they also control Gonzalez.
Meanwhile, the window of opportunity the world has to make the changes needed to avoid the direst of outcomes is already closing, according to an increasing number of climate scientists.
In the Times Online today, we read that swine flu and the like may just be the beginning of the global health ramifications of climate change.
The report, compiled by a commission of academics from University College London and published in The Lancet, warns that climate change risks huge death tolls caused by disease, food and water shortages and poor sanitation.
The authors said that the NHS would face serious incremental pressures from heat and hygiene-related illnesses because of increasingly hot summers, greater pathogen spread with warmer temperatures, and the heightened risk of flooding.
Those reading the scientific journals already know full well what we are dealing with. Essentially, if action is not taken in the very near future, the chance of so-called “runaway” global warming becomes all the more likely â?? and irreversible.
Which is why when I see our utility and Congressman holding hostage the singularly most important piece of legislation that could come out of this administration, it's incredibly hard for me not to accuse them of all sorts of terrible things. Things, should this bill fail, they will be undoubtedly be guilty of.