Sunday, May 22, 2011

Research recommendations regarding climate change

Bird's nest in Redbud
An editorial, "Clean energy is necessary but not free", by James Lenfestey, points to investment needing to occur in order to reduce the United State's carbon emissions.

Research findings on America's Climate Choices is available at the National Research Council's website. Following are some of their observations.

Decisions about the exact magnitude and speed of response efforts will depend on how much risk society deems acceptable. But in the Committee's judgment there are numerous motivations for action, including for instance:

The faster that greenhouse gas emissions are reduced, the lower the risks; and the less pressure there is to make steeper and potentially more expensive reductions later.

Investments currently being made in energy-related infrastructure and equipment will lock in emissions commitments for decades to come. Enacting relevant policies now will provide crucial guidance for those investment decisions.

The risks of continuing "business as usual" are greater than the risks associated with strong efforts to limit and adapt to climate change. Policy changes can potentially be reversed or scaled back if needed, whereas many adverse changes in the climate system would be difficult or impossible to "undo".

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