Thursday, December 10, 2009

Members of Congress Urge Obama to Adopt 350 Carbon Target

/PRNewswire/ -- As President Obama prepares to travel to the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, 14 members of the U.S. House of Representatives have sent a letter urging the President to seek agreement with world leaders on the need to reduce the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere to 350 parts per million.

Climate scientists, led by Dr. James Hansen of NASA's Goddard Space Institute, warn that global temperatures will rise to dangerous levels if the concentration of CO2 remains above 350 ppm for a sustained period of time.

Hansen has said, "If humanity wishes to preserve a planet similar to that on which civilization developed and to which life on Earth is adapted... CO2 will need to be reduced... to at most 350 ppm."

Rep. Bob Filner (D-CA) and Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) initiated the letter, which advises the President, "there is one singular goal around which all nations must align in order to avert disaster, the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. We urge you to... seek agreement with fellow leaders in Copenhagen on the ultimate goal of lowering and maintaining the level of CO2 in the Earth's atmosphere at 350 parts per million."

"If we are serious about combating global climate change we must agree to set a goal that will represent our best shot at averting the worst effects of climate change. The best science tells us that goal is 350 parts per million," said Congressman Kucinich.

Marshall Saunders, Founder and President of Citizens Climate Lobby, urged decision-makers to adopt legislation and policies that will achieve the 350 goal.

"Unfortunately, most of our legislators are operating under the assumption that we can allow CO2 levels to rise to 450 ppm. That would be a disaster. We've crossed the 350 threshold. We're at 390 and we're seeing glaciers recede at an alarming rate and summer sea ice disappearing from the North Pole."

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