On Thursday, May 16, there were two big pieces of news that could have a huge impact on the debate over public policy regarding climate change. The first is that a new survey indicates that scientists have reached a consensus that human beings are the main culprit in causing global warming. The survey was conducted by analyzing the summaries, or abstracts, of almost 12,000 peer-reviewed academic articles from the last 21 years.
The study was led by John Cook, a professor at the University of Queensland, and was published in Environmental Research Letters, an academic journal.
Although in the past it was clear that almost all experts on the subject had reached the same conclusion, this study provides a measurable conclusion that such a consensus exists.
The other big news is that the insurance industry, which stands to lose quite a bit if natural disasters become more frequent as a result of global warming, overwhelmingly backs public policy that would mitigate the effects of climate change, according to a New York Times article.
The piece points out that many insurance industry companies support the adoption of a carbon tax, which would raise the price of gasoline, thereby making renewable energy sources such as wind and solar more attractive to businesses and consumers. Given the massive influence that oil and gas companies exercise over public policy in this arena, it's welcome news that there are other business interests that may be able to counter some of that power.
This could have a monumental impact on energy consumption in the United States, so stay tuned to LifeIsGreen.com to find out how you can reduce your carbon footprint before it starts to cost you.