FEBRUARY NEWS 2001 5-00-1.jpg (31968 bytes)
       

         redhot.gif (1175 bytes)GLOBAL WARMING - WHAT MUST BE DONE by Pat Suter - see below
          redhot.gif (1175 bytes)Environmentalists Are Worried 
by Pat Suter 
          redhot.gif (1175 bytes)Packery Channel News:  
See September News& SIGN THE PETITION FOR A VOTE. Check
               a copy of The Observer for a list of locations.
      
     CITY OF CORPUS CHRISTI DOUBLE STANDARD READY TO UNFOLD by Pat Suter - see November News
        redhot.gif (1175 bytes)ABOUT THE ELECTION by Bill Alling
         redhot.gif (1175 bytes)KEMPS RIDLEY TURTLE UPDATE by Mina Williams &Venice Scheurich
         
redhot.gif (1175 bytes)The Corpus Christi Experiment VX Nerve Agent Disposal by Bill Alling
                
 Should This City Be the Waste Dump
              for Chemical Weapons Residue??
 
                Bill Alling's Letter to The Caller-Times
      
brwnrotatbut.gif (7314 bytes)     COASTAL DEVELOPMENT by Pat Suter
         
brwnrotatbut.gif (7314 bytes)  Email Paul Hammerschmidt to facilitate proposed Southern Closure Regulations   
         brwnrotatbut.gif (7314 bytes)   redhot.gif (1175 bytes) Governor George Bush: His Environmental Legacy by Pat Suter
        
brwnrotatbut.gif (7314 bytes)    EARTH DAY 2000 by Pat Suter


PLEASE EMAIL SENATOR KAY BAILEY HUTCHISON TO EXPRESS YOUR UNFAVORABLE OPINION
ON HER BILL TO DO BEACH RESTORATION AND ENVIRONMENTAL ENHANCEMENT BY DREDGING PACKERY CHANNEL


      

                                        COASTAL BEND GROUP

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Next Meeting: Tuesday February  20, 2001

GLOBAL WARMING - WHAT MUST BE DONE by Pat Suter

Americans are pretty good at ignoring any idea that they do not want to deal with. And GLOBAL WARMING is one of those ideas. And we are also very good at thumbing our collective noses at the rest of the world if we do not like any of the proposals put forth by this community.

Y2K was one of the hottest, wettest years on record. Average global temperatures last year were almost identical to those in 1999 which makes 2000 one of the hottest years in the past 120. And it may also be in the top ten for wettest years. The United States had a very cool November but this was negated by the warmest December in 1999. Records run between December 1 through the following November. So the cool winter weather we have had this year will appear in the next statistics. And another fact is that Barrow, Alaska had their first ever thunderstorm during this past year.

All this is in line with the predictions of GLOBAL WARMING. The models predict more extreme weather outside the tropics with major snowstorms in the north, floods and violent storms elsewhere. Drought in major areas is also in the cards.

A report drafted by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a group of hundreds of scientists established by the United Nations, authored the latest studies. The newest calculations add urgency to international treaty talks on curbing greenhouse gas emissions which collapsed last November.

The biggest single step the United States needs to take is to adopt stronger automotive fuel-economy standards for cars and light trucks. Other countries do not subsidize gasoline costs as this country does and the price per gallon ranges upwards of $4.00 per gallon. If we paid the true cost of driving our cars and trucks, the fuel economy would change greatly.

Congress passed current Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFÉ) standards in 1975 at the height of the environmental movement. These standards have proven to be the most successful energy-saving measure Congress ever adopted, saving 3 million barrels of oil per day. This is more oil than we import from the Persian Gulf. The standards require that new cars average 27.5 miles per gallon (mpg) and light trucks average 20.7 mpg. However, since automakers achieved these standards in the 1980’s, average fuel economy levels have declined. The average fuel economy of new vehicles sold in 2000 sank to its lowest point since 1980.

Cars and light trucks guzzle 40 % of the U.S. oil and emit 20 % of the nation’s carbon dioxide pollution. Each gallon of gas used puts 28 pounds of carbon dioxide into the air. The average car emits about 70 tons of carbon dioxide over its lifetime..the average SUV around 100 tons. Just the automobiles in the U.S. produce more global-warming pollution than all sources in Great Britain combined.

It is calculated that updated CAFÉ standards could save an additional 3 million barrels of oil each day when fully implemented. New standards of 45 mpg for cars and 34 mpg for light trucks would cut carbon dioxide pollution by 600 million tons and save consumers at least $45 billion each year at the pump. The U.S. is the world’s largest emitter of carbon dioxide and must take the lead in reducing this pollution.

There is no doubt that Americans are in love with their cars and light trucks. Lately, the biggest attachment has been to the SUVs and off-road vehicles. These last two named units of transportation and recreational use are the worst polluters of all. Somehow, Americans must come to grips with what they are doing to the world just to satisfy their egos. Most drivers of the SUVs do not really need such a large and heavy vehicle. It is a "macho" thing. But even if these must stay with us, technology can bring improvement in the fuel economy if we, as a people, insist on it.

A study by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy shows that a higher fuel economy will actually create jobs. The real danger is that U.S. automakers show no leadership in developing new technologies. Japanese and European car makers are putting lean-burning engines, continuously variable transmissions, and other efficiency technologies into their cars, American automakers do not. Fuel economy standards for light trucks have virtually stagnated for 20 years and they are one-half of all new vehicles sold today.

Raising automobile fuel economy is like finding a new source of oil under Detroit. Over 40 % of the oil we use in this country goes into our cars and trucks. Just think what we could save if only we put our minds to it. Not the least would be a savings of considerable cash. We would cut our trade deficit, enhance national security, slash pollution, and slow GLOBAL WARMING. All this might even slow the erosion of our shorelines which follows the warming. Warmer temperatures bring sea level rise which in turn makes storm damage worse. And on and on.

TOP FIVE GLOBAL WARMING POLLUTERS

1. UNITED STATES

2. CHINA

3. RUSSIA

          4.      JAPAN

5.    U.S. AUTOS

TONNAGE OF CARBON DIOXIDE PRODUCED BY VEHICLES OVER LIFETIME (124,000 MILES)

Ford Excursion (13 mpg) 134 tons

Jeep Grand Cherokee (18 mpg) 102 tons

Ford Taurus (23 mpg) 64 tons

Honda Civic HX (36 mpg) 36 tons

Honda Insight (65 mpg) 27 tons

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PLEASE EMAIL SENATOR KAY BAILEY HUTCHISON TO EXPRESS YOUR UNFAVORABLE OPINION
ON HER BILL TO DO BEACH RESTORATION AND ENIRONMENTAL ENHANCEMENT BY DREDGING PACKERY CHANNEL

Facilitators from Denver led the twenty-five member group in wide-ranging discussion of the many facets of the Park. Happily, the participants devoted considerable discussion to the endangered and threatened sea turtles in Gulf waters off Padre Island and their appeal to local people as well as tourists. There was consensus that the effort to save these ancient animals is valuable and must continue, and that the sea turtle recovery program is a significant attraction drawing people to the National Park.