(Melting like crazy: compare image of arctic ice cap from 1979 to that from 2003. Something seem off to you?)
Last year he was in Israel encouraging Israel cleantech companies that they could be part of the solution. But according to latest research and images of glaciers receding, Al Gore’s call to arms in the war against global warming might not come fast enough.
Former U.S. Vice President and Nobel Prize winner Al Gore was again in the environmental limelight when he warned the U.S. Congress concerning the urgency of addressing the issues of climate change recently.
Speaking during a hearing over a new bill that would require a substantial reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from both industry and private sources by the middle of the 21st century, Gore called the new bill one of the most important pieces of legislation ever introduced before Congress.
“We, along with the rest of humanity, are facing a most dire threat in relation to climate change,” he said.
If passed, the bill will require a 20% reduction in greenhouse gases from 2005 levels by 2020, and an 83% reduction by 2050.
It would also require that at least 25% of the electricity produced in the U.S. be from renewable sources by the year 2025.
Gore backed up his pleas by referring the examples of the severely depleting arctic and antarctic ice caps including several giant ice shelves and “bridges” which have broken away or melted to the point where there is now only open water.
This is clearly illustrated in the satellite photos noted above, taken in 1999 and 2003, in which a definite reduction in Arctic ice occurred in just four years.
Now, a full five years later, the reduction is even more pronounced.
Okay, so we’re sitting here in the Middle East and experiencing one of the worst dry spells in years, and a water crises so severe that some forms of water rationing are going into effect this summer, especially in regards to watering public parks and gardens, public swimming pools, and other non-essential uses.
We just finished commemorating Earth Day 2009 and now it’s back to “normal” with congested highways and continued pollution of our major cities.
I’m sure many people got caught up in the last hamsin that hit us on Wednesday last week. I did, on the way to and coming back from Jerusalem, with a traffic jam both ways on Highway 1 and an air conditioner that wasn’t cooperating in my ’95 Honda Civic.
Maybe it’s better it wasn’t working as it would have just contributed more to the greenhouse gases mentioned above by Al Gore.
Now it’s time for a similar “piece of legislation” to be introduced into the Knesset in Israel, with a similar time frame as the bill which Gore is so much in favor of.
There’s no reason why similar reductions in greenhouse gas emissions can’t be done here as well, especially with the projects currently going on with alternative energy, such as solar and wind energy. The United Nations Environment Program head Achim Steiner discussed Israel’s role in the climate change fight, last week at Tel Aviv University. (Steiner said that he reads Green Prophet, for news about Israel’s environment, in a talk!).
Perhaps even Shmuel Ovadia’s wave energy idea (GP, July 8, 2008) might be considered as part of the solution to energy needs, providing an available section of shoreline is found to accommodate it.
Israel has a lot to offer in regards to alternative energy projects. But we also have a lot to do regarding cleaning up our own greenhouse gas emissions, which are totally unacceptable for a small country of only 7 million souls. Earth Day 2009 and the pedal-powered concert has passed, but what about our earth in the next decades and century?