Driving the Future: A Tale of a Call to Action on Climate and a Long Delayed Response

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Driving the Future: A Tale of a Call to Action on Climate and a Long Delayed Response

by RP Siegel
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Read @RPSiegel's review of "Driving the Future: Combating #ClimateChange with Cleaner, Smarter Cars" http://bit.ly/1FZJO82 via @Justmeans

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Wednesday, May 13, 2015 - 8:00am



I recently read Driving the Future, the new book by Margo T. Oge, former director of EPA’s Office of Air Quality and Transportation. It’s the story of the evolving effort within the EPA to get the government to take action on climate change, which it finally did, after years of delay ,with the passage of two separate rounds of fuel economy standards, first in 2009, then a second in 2012. Not only was this the first U.S. government action taken on this issue, it was also surprisingly effective. This single stroke of the pen in 2012, will cut greenhouse gas emissions from cars and light trucks in half by 2025, possibly making it the largest single action taken to date in the effort to reduce emissions.

The book opens with the history of climate change science, going back to the work of Karl Friedrich Schimper in the 1830’s, who along with Louis Agassiz, recognized the existence of glaciers and ice ages. From there, the narratuve layers on the evidence, describing the work of John Tyndall and Svante Arrhenius, who both demonstrated the heat trapping ability of certain atmospheric gases. It was Arrhenius who recognized that without carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, the entire planet would remain perpetually frozen.

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