Global warming is occurring at an unnatural rate. This is apparent to all who are not paddling down the River Denial. Scientific theory and empirical evidence strongly indicate this abnormal climate phenomenon is related to the rapid increase of CO2 in the atmosphere. The need to reduce global CO2 emissions follows logically from this relationship.
The Fourth National Climate Assessment (NCA4, released on Nov. 23) highlights the potential impacts, risks and adaptations to climate change that will likely occur if real action is not taken. Real action means reducing not stabilizing CO2 emissions globally.
Real action requires, at the very least, that development projects need to pass an economic test of viability and an environmental criterion of a net reduction in global CO2 emissions. Carbon offsets are not sufficient, reduction is necessary.
Available studies estimate that the Innovation Works proposal meets both the economic and environmental criteria. Arguments “that we can do better” are arguments for the status quo. There is no empirical evidence that we can do better. This project presents the possibility of real economic growth.
I think we should regard the current economic conditions in Cowlitz County as poor. State data on income, wealth and health status rank us near the bottom in all three categories. This is the status quo.