As featured on p. 218 of "Bloggers on the Bus," under the name "a MyDD blogger."

Monday, October 22, 2007

Today's Fires Are a Symptom, We Must Press for the Cure

Forest fires like those we see sweeping the Southland today are a collateral piece of damage from an environment that has grown more vulnerable through overdevelopment, neglect, and the continued harm from climate change. There is no question that a hotter, drier climate makes the land more susceptible to wildfires which can expand and change direction in a split second. We have had drought-like conditions all year in Southern California, which makes things worse. The state has made efforts to reverse this pattern through strict regulation of tailpipe emissions, but has been stymied by a slow-walk from the EPA, who since December 2005 has refused to grant the waiver necessary to make this regulation law. On Wednesday, California's patience will run out, and they will sue the Bush Administration over this obstructionism. The US Supreme Court has already ruled that states can regulate greenhouse gas emissions, now the EPA must relent and allow the states to govern their own regions in the manner they see fit.

This is more than an abstract concept. We're talking about lives and property and untold destruction. And this lawsuit will hopefully spur Senate Environmental Committee Chair Barbara Boxer to move quickly at the federal level on a global warming bill that is not a massive giveaway to coal companies, but which takes definable steps to solve the problem. Fortunately, there is real movement toward a carbon-neutral future and away from the delaying tactics and greenwashed "solutions" that have characterized the past decade. The terrible fires today should be a powerful reminder of what we must do for a better environment in California and around the world.

Labels: , , , , , ,