Looks like your very own plug-in car may be in the near future: President Barack Obama gave his first address to congress last night and listed energy as one of the areas critical to the country's economic future.
As far as the world goes, the U.S. has apparently been doing a pretty bad job energy-wise. He noted that China leads the effort for an energy efficient economy, Germany and Japan are pumping out solar panels faster than anyone, and Korea is making batteries for plug-in hybrid cars. If we want to be leaders of the 21st century, seems like we better start making some progress of our own.
The President also looked to Congress for help on the matter: "I ask this Congress to send me legislation that places a market-based cap on carbon pollution and drives the production of more renewable energy in America. That's what we need."
We couldn't agree with you more, Obama. Especially considering a study that came out today reporting warming in Antarctica is more widespread than originally thought. The research suggests glaciers in west Antarctica are losing about 114 billion tons per year due to melting ice and little snowfall. A member of the study's steering committee predicted this widespread melting could account for 3-5 feet of sea level rise in 100 years if the entire west Antarctica ice sheet collapses.
In hopes of combating climate change, Obama repeated a vow he's made several times before--to double our renewable energy in three years. I'm sure most people would agree that all of these goals are necessary, but just how realistic do you think they are? For the sake of all our favorite beaches--and our beloved Emperor Penguin--here's to hoping.
Study: Antarctic Glaciers Slipping Swiftly Seaward (NYTimes)
Image credit: eob