Marc Lefkowitz | 04/22/09 @ 11:38am
Happy Earth Day! How are you celebrating Mother Nature today? You can go for a lower carbon meal. Did you know that the food system is responsible for 1/3 of global greenhouse emissions (meat production alone contributes 18 percent)? You can check out Case Western Reserve University's food service company Bon Appetit's Eat Low Carbon Diet Calculator.
Listen to the economic case Amy Gomberg of Environment Ohio is making for carbon cap and trade legislation:
The cost of doing nothing is extremely significant especially for Ohio and the benefits are creating the green energy economy of tomorrow. If we do nothing we put our resources at stake such as Lake Erie. Climate change could reduce our water level which will have a toll on commercial fishing and shipping. Just a slight decline in our shipping industry could cost the industry $1 billion. We think putting a cost on carbon is one of best ways to refocus our economy and bring jobs and prosperity back to Ohio. It's the best way to end our dependence on oil and imported coal. This will lead to energy efficiency investments. One of the elements of cap and trade if we sell the permits to pollute the government can reinvest where we need it ? to customers for energy efficient windows, and put them to work for Ohio. Ohio is extremely well positioned to take advantage of this. We identified over 440 companies in Ohio involved in the renewable energy supply chain. We've always been technological leaders and we shouldn't shy away from being leaders again.
David Kreutzer Senior Policy Analyst of the Heritage Foundation is arguing that cap and trade will make energy more expensive and will hurt manufacturing. He says you can't give money back to people. We live with whatever changes are coming is his answer. I take issue that the thing we want to do is cut CO2 and the problems we are going to happen are wildly exaggerated.
What's missing, in our opinion, from Kreutzer's analysis that this will hurt Ohio's economy is the boon that wind, solar and other renewable energy technologies are to other states' economies like Iowa, Pennsylvania, Colorado and California. We take issue with his either the status quo or we damage the economy by investing in green industry scenario.
See local Earth Day events on GCBL's calendar.