Global Warming Crossroads: Choosing the Sensible Path to a Clean Energy Economy (2009)
The United States is at a crossroads. We can choose to transition to a clean energy economy that addresses a multitude of challenges—oil dependency, energy security, global warming, air pollution—or we can choose to ignore these problems.
Global warming stems from the release of carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases into the atmosphere, primarily when we burn fossil fuels and clear forests. The problems resulting from the ensuing carbon overload range from extreme heat, droughts, and storms to acidifying oceans and rising sea levels. To help avoid the worst of these effects, the United States must play a lead role and begin to cut its heat-trapping emissions today—and aim for at least an 80 percent drop from 2005 levels by 2050.
We can make the transition to a clean energy economy today, while protecting our climate, breaking our dependence on oil, and putting Americans back to work. What we need is a comprehensive set of smart policies to jump-start this transition without delay and maximize the benefits to our environment and economy. The time to act is now.
A UCS peer-reviewed study, Climate 2030: A National Blueprint for a Clean Energy Economy, shows that we can build a competitive clean energy economy that will save consumers money and give our children a healthy future.