A new poll shows broad support for carbon limits, including half of all Republicans. The poll comes out as scientists warn (as reported in the NY Times) that time is running out on climate change and, without decisive action, the world could eventually become uninhabitable for humans. Today, the Pope added his voice to the overwhelming weight of world scientists that time is running out. Likewise, island nations are now demanding action and calling on the world to witness the loss of their very existence to the rising seas.
In the meeting in Lima, scientists are presenting new data showing that the world’s climate is already changing and that we cannot avoid high costs associated with greenhouse gases but that we can still avoid planetary disaster if we commit to new limits without further delay.
I have long been an advocate of carbon limits to address climate change. While I disagree with some of his methods, I have great respect for President Obama in his making climate change a priority of his Administration.
In Lima, reports indicate that there may be no way to prevent the planet’s temperature from rising and a breach of the 3.6 degree threshold appears inevitable. However, they paint a dire picture that we must soon choose between an unpleasant world and an uninhabitable one.
While the GOP is often portrayed as anti-environmental, the Republican base contains many who believe not only in stronger environmental laws but carbon limits to address climate change. In the latest poll by the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research and Yale University, six out of ten Americans support regulation of carbon dioxide pollution. More importantly, this figure includes one out of every two Republicans. There is a sharp disconnect between such views and the actions of both parties in Congress in resisting limits and other changes designed to reduce greenhouse gases. Certainly, the GOP is not nearly as monolithic as commentary would often suggest on the issue of environmental protection.