By Julie Kerr Casper
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Additional resources for Climate Management: Solving the Problem (Global Warming)
Too often, Washington has failed to show the same kind of leadership. My presidency will mark a new chapter in America’s leadership on climate change that will strengthen our security and create millions of new jobs in the process. That will start with a federal cap and trade system. We will establish strong annual targets that set us on a course to reduce emissions to their 1990 levels by 2020 and reduce them an additional 80 percent by 2050. We will invest in solar power, wind power, and next-generation biofuels.
Obama stressed that despite the continuing economic turmoil, reductions in GHG emissions would remain a central component of his energy, environmental, and economic policies. The message he sent was clear. The need to curb heattrapping gases will be a priority for his administration. He also stressed that the energy revolution the nation could expect from his administration would overcome what he called America’s “shock and trance” cycle as oil prices spike and collapse. The following is his explanation of the shock-and-trance cycle (taken from the CBS transcript of 60 Minutes on November 16, 2008): Steve Kroft: When the price of oil was at $147 a barrel, there were a lot of spirited and profitable discussions that were held on energy independence.
It is critical that clean technologies are developed in order to reduce emissions and stop global warming. Although there has been much talk about reducing emissions, there has been an increase in heat-trapping gases of 70 percent from 1970 to 2004. Of these, CO2 emissions account for 75 percent of the total anthropogenic emissions. The emission growth rate is expected to continue if serious changes are not made immediately. In 2004, developed countries (such as the United States) had 20 percent of the world population and contributed nearly three-quarters of the global emissions.