Inslee's Apollo


So Rep. Jay Inslee, out for dinner with Al Gore in Seattle recently, says he was teasing him about underselling this whole global warming problem: "It's much worse than you told us," Inslee says he told the former VP. "Since his movie came out, the scenario has gone to the worse side of the spectrum. No one predicted the melting in the Arctic (covering an area six times the size of California) would be as bad as we saw this summer."

Inslee's in town this weekend to promote his own global warming opus Apollo's Fire at Town Hall. (He's also participating tomorrow in a field hearing of the newly-formed House global warming committee as part of the mayors' conference climate protection summit at the Edgewater.) He says the climate crisis is "now upon us."

"We need to start thinking in terms of urgent action instead of long-term committee formation," Inslee says. His Apollo project includes a proposal to cap carbon dioxide emissions and put in place a trading system for carbon credits. It would also require the use of more renewable energy sources, give manufacturers incentives to produce plug-in hybrid vehicles and cut subsidies for oil and coal. "As long as coal can use the atmosphere as its personal garbage dump, new technologies won't come to fruition. We've got to level the playing field," he says.

All sounds good, but there's always that little thing called Political Will. There's a compelling argument that things must get much worse on the planet (or in our pocketbooks) before habits/funding/regulations will actually change. I asked Jay if he needs a Democrat in the White House for his plan to have a chance. He says: "We need a thinking person in the White House," and adds that the book details some of his discussion with George Bush and Dick Cheney about his proposal. "People will be stunned by the reaction of these people to clear science."

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