Rep. Jay Inslee on the year ahead

Now that our New Year's Eve party hats are put away, its time to look to the next year in the battle against global warming. In the year 2007, some good things did indeed happen on this front. Measures significantly improving car mileage standards and promoting the growth of renewable fuels were signed into law. But if 2007 was a year that could be considered in some ways good, then 2008 needs to be a year that will be great.

Nothing else will do. The cataclysms of one million square miles of ice melting in the Arctic, a several fold increase in the rate of melting tundra, and the acceleration of melting in Greenland, foretell possible feedback mechanisms that demand a faster and more aggressive clean energy revolution than we even envisioned a year ago. Whatever we thought necessary on New Year's Day 2007 needs to be doubled in 2008.

So what will it take to make '08 great? Three things will do the trick.

First, each of us can take some individual small step down the clean energy road. For my wife and myself, our small step was spending the last two days of 2007 stuffing insulation under our home's flooring. It was low tech, and not particularly creative, but it promises to save several tons of CO2 over the lifetime of our old leaky, creaky, house, while keeping our toes warm in the process.

Second, George W. Bush will have to have an epiphany.

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