Wednesday, February 28, 2007

At Least We Didn’t Get A Full Glass

The header on the e-mail from Environmental Defense read “Breaking News: Global Warming Victory.” It went on to gush that a condition imposed on the sale of energy giant TXU was abandonment of plans for building eight new coal-fired power plants. Sounds good but part of the deal negotiated by ED was their blessing to build three new coal burners in Texas. Perhaps the lead should have been, “we’ve negotiated a seventy percent reduction in the latest dose of new poison.”

Monday one of the world’s top climate scientists, NASA’s James Hansen, called for a total halt to building more of these top polluters. The AP said, “Hansen, who said he was speaking as a private citizen, also told the press club that by mid-century all coal-fired power plants that do not capture and bury carbon dioxide ‘must eventually be bulldozed.’ It's foolish to build new ones if the emissions can't be dealt with, he said.” Capture and bury schemes are far from being practical–and may never be.

The incremental approach of ED and much of the mainstream environmental movement is an acceptance of further incremental increase in irreversible damage to our planet. Pardon me if I don’t celebrate such “victory.”

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