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Editorial: United States can’t afford to wait for fuel efficiency

Editorial: United States can’t afford to wait for fuel efficiency
Buried in a report from the National Highway Safety Transportation Administration of President Donald Trump is an acknowledgement that the planet is on course to warm by 6 degrees Fahrenheit by 2100.

That could be disastrous, and carbon emissions from car and truck tailpipes is contributing to that.

This acknowledgement, from a Republican environmental administration, no less, weakens the case that was already not fully persuasive for delaying fuel-efficiency standards.

A 500-page environmental impact statement issued by the Trump Administration conceded that temperatures will rise by 6 degrees by the year 2100.

That’s on top of the 1-degree rise that has already occurred since the start of industrialization in the late 1800s.

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It is the opinion of most of the climate scientists that this rise in global temperatures is caused by humankind’s burning of fossil fuels that have created a so-called greenhouse effect.

The approaching epochal heat wave is likely to leave parts of Manhattan and Miami underwater and the glaciers that provide fresh drinking water melted into the oceans.

The analysis is buried in a draft statement issued by the NHTSA to justify President Trump’s decision to freeze federal fuel-efficiency standards for cars and light trucks built after 2020. The acknowledgement takes as a given that temperatures will rise, and sees the impact on greenhouse gas emissions just a very small drop to a very big, hot bucket.

The report by the NHTSA coincides with a push by world climate scientists to urge world political leaders to embrace dramatic new policies that would save the rain forests and reduce the dumping of carbon into the atmosphere.

Knowing that relaxing the fuel standards would contribute in any way to rising world temperatures is reason enough to stay the course.

Even without this added fuel for the debate, the Trump administration had not made a convincing case for letting up the accelerator on more efficient car engines.

Knowing that we are contributing to a rise in global temperatures that could cause widespread devastation should be reason enough for the United States to reduce our negative impact on the atmosphere.

Source: Toledo Blade


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