Without comprehensive and effective action, the situation in the Arctic is threatening to lead to near-term mass extinction of many species including humans, as described at the feedbacks page and at the extinction page and as also depicted by the image below.
Several lines of action are needed to combat this threat, for parallel implementation, as pictured in the diagram below.
Any nation can start moving toward a more sustainable economy without need for prior international agreements. In nations with both federal and state governments, such as the United States of America, the President (or Head of State or Cabinet, basically where executive powers are held) can direct:
- federal departments and agencies to reduce their emissions for each type of pollutant annually by a set percentage, say, CO2 and CH4 by 10%, and HFCs, N2O and soot by higher percentages.
- the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to make states each achieve those same reductions.
- the EPA to monitor progress by states and to step in with more effective action in case a state looks set to miss one or more targets; more effective action in such a case would impose (federal) fees on applicable polluting products sold in the respective state, with revenues used for federal benefits.
Such federal benefits could include building interstate High-Speed Rail tracks, adaptation and conservation measures, management of national parks, R&D into batteries, ways to vegetate deserts and other land use measurements, all at the discretion of the EPA. The fees can be roughly calculated as the average of fees that other states impose in successful efforts to meet their targets.
Apart from action to move to a more sustainable economy, additional lines of action are necessary to reduce the danger of runaway global warming. Extra fees on international commercial aviation could provide funding for ways to cool the Arctic. Because of their impact across borders, these additional lines of action will need ongoing research, international agreement and cooperation.
A comprehensive and effective climate action plan will outline the necessary lines of action and will also describe how these lines of action can best be implemented.
A Climate Action Plan is needed that has three parts that are executed in parallel.
- Sustainable Economy, i.e. moving toward a more sustainable economy, with dramatic reductions of pollutants on land, in oceans and in the atmosphere
- Heat management
- Methane management and further measures
Each of these three parts comes with multiple lines of action to be executed in parallel. As above diagram shows, some of these lines of action jointly lead to additional care for ecosystems, such as land, wetlands, lakes and rivers.
This Climate Action Plan contains many lines of action. The decision how to implement the necessary action (e.g. efforts to reduce pollution levels) is largely delegated to state level, while states can similarly delegate decisions to local communities.
States can thus implement the policies they feel fit their circumstances best, provided they do each achieve their targets. Such targets are set by federal government in line with international agreements, and assisted by ongoing monitoring and research as to ways to make safe progress and ways to achieve targets most effectively.
Local implementation encourages that revenues from fees on polluting products is used to fund the necessary shift to clean products locally. This will help achieve the shift where it’s needed most.
In many cases, feebates will work best to reach targets, as further discussed at the policies page and the feebates page.
Discuss what Action should be taken.
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Posted by Sam Carana on July 8, 2013