Monday, March 12, 2012

Dramatic warming of Great Lakes

The impact of climate change is readily observable in our Great Lakes, as noted in a recent article in the Duluth News Tribune: "Report: Great Lakes winter ice cover has decreased 71 percent since 1973". This report doesn't include the current winter, when a mere 5 percent of the Great Lakes surface froze over.  During an "average" winter 40% of the lakes are ice covered.

Mother nature's icy artwork
While we continue to realize dramatic climate change there appears to be no appetite in Washington DC to make a change in the gas tax.  A StarTribune article, "Highway funding stuck in reverse", describes how it is highly unlikely that politicians will raise the taxes necessary to support mass transit and transportation infrastructure needs during an election year.  Seems their interests in being elected and catering to those who fund their campaigns get considerably more attention than the long-term viability of the planet.

Minnesota Congressman Chip Cravaack has expressed opposition for taxes to support transportation needs, noting that the cost ultimately gets passed down to the consumer.  Seems to me "the consumer" is the operative word. People are rapidly consuming way too much and leaving behind a planet that may soon no longer be livable for future generations. Taxes on consumption would provide clear incentives to conserve energy and change our wasteful behavior. Gas taxes in the US are far less than most all of Europe, where conservation efforts are more advanced.  Norway has a fuel tax both for road use and CO2 impact.

No comments:

Post a Comment