Opinion

The Great Debate

Public backs Obama on strong carbon controls

Southern Company’s Plant Bowen in Cartersville, Georgia, in an aerial file photograph, Sept. 4, 2007. REUTERS/Chris Baltimore

When President Barack Obama announces his new climate change plan Tuesday, he will be addressing a voting public that, despite conventional wisdom, is ready to embrace his key proposal: Environmental Protection Agency regulation of carbon emissions from existing power plants.

Since the failure to pass cap-and-trade in 2009, Washington conventional wisdom has held that any effort to curb the carbon emissions that contribute to global warming will be met by a skeptical electorate. But this misunderstands the public’s nuanced view.

Most polls show that the percentage of Americans who think that climate change is happening and being driven by human activity is at its highest levels since 2007. In fact, 65 percent of voters support “the president taking significant steps to address climate change now,” according to a recent poll by the Benenson Strategy Group

But the devil is in the details, as a February Duke University study shows. Though public support for cap-and-trade or a carbon tax are tepid (30 to 35 percent support, with about the same percentage opposing), Americans overwhelmingly support “regulating greenhouse gas emissions from power plants and factories” (65 percent support versus 14 percent oppose).

from The Great Debate UK:

Heather Rogers on fixing “Green Gone Wrong”

BRITAIN/

How can human production be transformed and harnessed to save the planet? Can the market economy really help solve the environmental crisis?

Author Heather Rogers argues in a new book that current efforts to green the planet need to be reconsidered.

The growth-based economy can't help but add to the problems the planet faces, Rogers writes in "Green Gone Wrong" published by Verso.

from The Great Debate UK:

“Green growth” strategy viable for African economy

michael_keating -Michael Keating is director of the Africa Progress Panel. The opinions expressed are his own.-

After a decade of solid progress Africa is now facing the daunting task - at a time of economic crisis - of maintaining stability, economic growth and employment, addressing food security and combating climate change. No country on the continent is escaping the impact of volatile fuel and commodity prices, the drop in global demand and trade.

The global economic crisis, however, is serving as a wake-up call for both African leaders and their international partners. The Africa Progress Panel’s 2009 report, launched Wednesday in Cape Town by panel members Kofi Annan, Graca Machel and Linah Mohohlo, argues just this.

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