NATO-style Alliance Needed to Fight Global Warming

Register-Guard editorial endorses Interior Secretary Stewart Udall's call for alliance in which each would contribute financial, scientific and engineering resources to develop and deploy new strategies for reducing the use of fossil fuels and for increasing the use of renewable resources.

Published: 14-Dec-2004

T size=2>With a new international study on global warming determining that the Arctic ice cap is melting at a rate that will thaw half of Arctic sea ice by the end of the century, a truly global strategy to cope with the most pressing environmental issue of our time is swiftly becoming a necessity.

In a powerful essay published this week in the Los Angeles Times, former Interior Secretary Stewart Udall exhorts environmentalists and the Bush administration to stop fighting over what he characterizes as a "modest Kyoto treaty" that's little more than a starting point. Instead, he urges the world's top 20 industrialized countries, the ones that produce most carbon dioxide emissions, to form a new alliance to combat energy and environmental problems.

Udall suggests modeling the alliance on the North Atlantic Treaty Organization - minus its military apparatus, of course. Each participating country would send its premier scientists, entrepreneurs, energy specialists, architects, engineers and planners to serve on policy panels. Nations would pay for research and development at rates based on their respective carbon dioxide outputs.

The alliance would develop and deploy new strategies for reducing the use of fossil fuels and for increasing the use of renewable resources. Udall proposes action on four fronts: electric power production, which generates 4 percent of greenhouse gases, and use; building design changes to take advantage of renewable energy technologies and produce "carbon-neutral" buildings, a move that could eliminate nearly half of current carbon dioxide emissions; the spread of fuel-efficient cars and intensified research on alternative fuels; and continued development of renewable energy sources.

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