EDITORIALS

OUR OPINION: Change in the weather

Staff Writer
Gonzales Weekly Citizen

Those uninterested in global warming probably believe the issue is not important enough to warrant taking a stand on what to do about climate change.

Why worry about whether human creation of carbon dioxide is heating the planet up tomorrow when the earth has always taken care of itself?

Neutrality is as good a stance as any if you study the facts and delve into the economic and political and marketing issues that making earth’s climate such a tinderbox issue – and then make up your mind about whether emissions should be controlled and reduced.

But those of us who let others make up our minds for us are playing into the hands of parties who would use the issue of global warming for profit and gain.

The Louisiana Public Service Commission is at the forefront of the climate change issue in this state. Three members of the commission have stated global warming is not a danger to the world, and two members believe that carbon emissions are contributing to the warm-up.

We don’t find it surprising that PSC as a group would deny that carbon-based fuels used to generate electricity lead to global warming. PCS has much economic reason to maintain the status quo in the electrical generation industry. Why change? Certainly not for piddling incentives in Louisiana to use wind, water and solar power to create electricity.

We do find it encouraging that two PCS members, Foster Campbell and Commission Chairman Lambert Boissiere III have joined the global warming side, and would like the state to begin developing alternative energy sources and begin creating new jobs outside of the smokestack industy.

Nationally, the battle line in America’s effort to fight global warming came Friday when the Environmental Protection Agency declared half a dozen heat trapping gases, including carbon dioxide, to be hazardous to public health and welfare. The action will lead to regulation of those gases, and be a cornerstone in America’s effort to reduce emissions of heat trapping gases that contribute to heating the planet, raising coastal sea levels, and spawning more frequent and powerful storms.

EPA said the science behind its move is both compelling and overwhelming. The government agency declared that its rigorous studies over the years reveal that concentrations of the six gases are at unprecedented levels thanks to human activity. Those high elevations are “highly likely” to be responsible for the climate changes and the rise in temperatures the world is experiencing.

 We don’t agree with the ranting of Louisiana’s Republican Congressman Steve Scalise, who termed EPA’s gas regulation action “a power grab by radical environmentalists” in order to help President Obama pass a cap and trade energy policy.

If EPA is a radical environmental group, then Tabasco grew famous selling sugar water to babies.

Most of the findings and studies by EPA on the gases have been around for years, but were suppressed and not acted upon during the previous President’s administration.

Now the information is being used by an Obama administration pushed by public opinion, which, on the whole, is seen as demanding action to reduce hydrocarbons in the atmosphere and contain global warming.

We hope more of Louisiana’s leaders will be moderate voices during the coming change in national energy policy, and in doing so reap the benefits necessary to entice progressive energy companies to locate in the state, while helping businesses who have to reduce their amounts of emissions go about the order of the day.