Friday, June 01, 2007

Earl's Climate Change Travelogue, Recommended at DailyKos

Update, 2pm--
Earl provided some pictures in his constituent newsletter; at right is the best one...

As he is sometimes wont to do, Rep. Blumenauer has posted an article at Daily Kos today, detailing his recent trip with the Speaker and colleagues from the Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming to Greenland, Germany and England. It's not clear how many of our readers regularly peruse DKos, and his name doesn't appear in the title, so you may have missed it. That'd be a shame, because it's refreshing to read about a Congressman on a foreign junket that doesn't involve golf, underage Malaysian hookers, or Cuban cigars at 30,000 feet on Mobil/Exxon's private jet. Click through to read the whole thing, but here's an excerpt:
To talk with the indigenous Inuit Greenlanders, who number 56,000, is to begin understanding the staggering impacts of global warming in human terms. Their centuries-old tradition of subsistence fishing and hunting has been turned upside down by the changes they’ve witnessed in their lifetimes. Their extensive descriptions of fish that have disappeared and ice sheets that no longer extend far out into the ocean added a poignancy and urgency to the importance of our mission here. It is one thing to read reports about the disappearance of the Greenland Ice Sheet – and quite another to fly over this stunning landscape, sense its vastness, and realize how much is at risk. When this 2-mile thick ice sheet melts, it will raise sea levels around the world by 20 feet.

This is not a problem we can put off any longer.


Clearly, the European Union expects the United States to play a leadership role in addressing global warming. India and China, who are poised to replace the United States as the largest sources of global warming pollution, see no reason to take action as long as the United States -- being richer and having contributed far more to global warming -- fails to do its part. The United States has been the major contributor of greenhouse gas emissions for the last century; these pollutants will remain in our atmosphere for decades to come. The expectation that the United States will join international efforts to curb global warming will surely be a priority topic at the G8 Summit taking place June 6-8. Chancellor Merkel, who serves as both President of the European Council and the G8 this year, takes her leadership positions seriously and is clear on her commitment to addressing global warming. The British government is proud of its accomplishments but also painfully aware that even if it is successful in eliminating all of its greenhouse gas emissions, the total emissions level worldwide will drop by only 2% -- a paltry amount when compared to the emissions generated by the United States, India, and China. It is simply imperative that we work together to solve this international crisis.
Rock on, Earl.