June 16, 2015
For plenty of people around the world, climate change is already impacting health and economic stability. For many in the developed world, though, our relative insulation from these impacts can make it too easy to tune out the call for carbon regulations. But, when you look closer, regulations that reduce carbon emissions create all sorts of immediate benefits beyond climate change alone, including saving lives and saving hundreds of billions of dollars.
Why We Need Carbon Regulations
Nearly every time we blink there’s another carbon emissions headline. The latest came when the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) announced that, as of this March, the global monthly average for CO2 surpassed 400 parts per million (ppm). To put that in perspective, 400 ppm is more CO2 than the planet has seen in nearly 2 million years. All the fossil fuels we’re burning are accelerating the pace of this change, 100 times faster than past natural increases of CO2. While individual changes are important, we need broad government regulations and need to send the signal that we must shift away from fossil fuels, now.
Last June, President Obama directed the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to reduce carbon emissions by introducing regulatory rules on coal-fired power plants across the country. It was a bold step in the right direction.
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