Friday, January 05, 2007

Alaska on the wrong side of climate change

The state of Alaska is on the wrong side of climate change. We are both heavily favored for major impacts, but the State of Alaska has also taken the wrong side in a brief before the U.S. Supreme Court. The case has been argued before the court, with a decision due by June 2007. Justice Anthony Kennedy appears to be the swing vote.

One report out of the Anchorage Daily News recently spoke of the irony of the State of Alaska opposing the EPA’s regulation of greenhouse gasses at the same time as our state is most vulnerable from the impacts of those gases in our atmosphere. Gov. Palin is looking toward guidance from the Alaska Climate Impact Assessment Commission. In a companion article in the Fairbanks Daily News Miner, a longer version of the ADN article (not available on line) quoted Tim Beninendi, staffer to Rep. Samuels, chair of this commission, as saying that the commission wouldn’t address any suggestions of CO2 reduction, only the impacts from doing nothing about the cause.

This limited approach is inefficient, costly, and ill-advised. Since prevention is usually more cost effective than treatment, why not expend some effort toward reducing the things that are creating the negative impacts? It doesn’t serve Alaskans to have the Governor look at only one means of addressing this important issue.

Sometimes logic and common sense seems to baffle those who live in a political environment.


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