Era of environmental polarization ending

Our View

In the wake of last Thursday’s Earth Day, it is important to take a moment and reflect upon the issues of sustainability and environmentalism as they stand today.

The idea of a green revolution is no longer a totally partisan issue that beckons images of Rainbow Jeremy and his tree-hugging hippie pals protesting a new McDonalds or dreadlocked granola-crunchers laying themselves down in front of a bulldozer at some new development site.

Rather, today the support is much broader, ranging from Apple to British Petroleum to California’s Republican governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Schwarzenegger in particular has been a vocal advocate for the cause, most recently proposing an ambitious plan to cut greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020 that includes the following: a $2.9 billion plan to install one million solar roofs in California in the next eight years (reducing emissions by 3 million tons), drastically vamping up renewable energy technologies while placing a moratorium on coal power plants, significantly improving miles-per-gallon standards on new cars and bolstering the state’s public transit systems.

As evidenced by today’s broad range of support, the movement appeals to a broad spectrum, as its benefits are multi-faceted; it would increase our energy self-sufficiency, provide a massive sector for economic growth and improve environmental security for ourselves and for future generations.

The ability to foresee future threats and prepare appropriately has been America’s saving grace in the past, and we are prudently beginning to utilize this quality again in the specter serious environmental threats.

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