On Oct. 30, 2003, the U.S. Senate voted to reject the Climate
Stewardship Act, 43 to 55. In the next few weeks, this act will
again be voted on by the Senate, and will continue to be re-introduced
in each congressional session until it passes.
The bipartisan Climate Stewardship Act, also known as CSA-S.
139, is sponsored by Senators John McCain and Joseph Lieberman.
It seeks to regulate U.S. greenhouse gas emissions and encourages
energy efficiency and renewable electricity generation. A similar
bill was introduced in the House in 2003, H.R. 4067. It also
proposed a cap on gas emissions, but would not be enacted until
the year 2010. This bill will also be voted on this session.
One of the few people who do not support these bills is our
president, George W. Bush, who instead advocates a “voluntary” plan
which asks companies to control their own emissions. So far,
it has failed. According to Greenpeace International’s
Analysis of the Bush Climate Change Strategy which was released
in February 2002, U.S. emissions are the highest in the world.
Their study also shows that prior to Bush’s term, greenhouse
gas emissions were on the decline.
According to a national Zogby poll done in October 2003, 75
percent of Americans support the Climate Stewardship Act. Many
have urged lawmakers to support this act as well. The Union
of Concerned Scientists (UCS) as well as numerous nonscientific
organizations is urging voters to write and ask their senators
to vote for the act. If you would like to see how your senator
voted, there is a link on www.ucsusa.org. The Web site also
helpful tips for consumers to reduce their contributions to
global warming, information about the global warming phenomenon
the Climate Stewardship Act.
Global warming is a real and present danger to the environment
and the human race. According to a study done by a United Nations-sanctioned
panel of scientists is 2001, global warming has caused the
sea level to rise and the melting of polar ice sheets. Also,
major hurricanes that have hit Florida recently are also results
of global warming. As suggested in Kalamalama's April article
on chaos theory (Vol. 28, No.6), these hurricanes are the direct
result of human action. Like the proverbial butterfly that
flapped its wings, just by driving your car to school, you
a devastating chain reaction which ultimately resulted in a
Saving the environment is—and should be—a bipartisan
effort according to numerous environmental agencies, and there
is a lot that individuals can do to help. Election Day is coming;
we must use our voting power to make a difference, not only
as U.S. citizens, but as global citizens.