The following Letter to the Editor was published in the Baltimore Sun on February 29, 2008
It was disappointing to see The Sun encourage delay on fighting global climate change ("Striking a balance," editorial, Feb. 26).
One thing we've learned from Chesapeake Bay restoration efforts is that if we don't set specific, incremental goals, no one is held accountable and little progress is achieved.
The Chesapeake Bay region is at severe risk from pollution and climate change, and the time for action was yesterday. Today we are playing catch-up, and tomorrow will be too late.
The federal government has failed to produce meaningful climate change legislation, and just last week, Rep. Chris Van Hollen told a meeting of concerned citizens in Annapolis that the best way to hold federal feet to the fire was for the states to move forward with climate change legislation.
The Global Climate Change Solutions Act is just such a bill.
It is designed to make fundamental, incremental reductions in carbon dioxide levels that will help avert imminent damage to the state and to solidify Maryland's role as a national leader in carbon reduction.
The state's carbon reduction goals are not overly ambitious.
Six states have set goals in the 80 percent to 90 percent reduction range, and 26 states have adopted lesser limitations.
And there are economic upsides. "Green jobs" can provide an economic boost at the same time that pollution is reduced.
There is no doubt that climate change is here, affecting local rivers, streams and the bay.
There is no doubt that rising sea levels and increasingly severe storms threaten coastal populations.
There is no doubt that we need to reduce pollution, now.
We need the road map, specific goals and milestones provided by the Global Climate Change Solutions Act.
William C. Baker
President, Chesapeake Bay Foundation