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We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors,
we borrow it from our children.

 Native American Proverb

There are no passengers on Spaceship Earth.  We are all crew.
Marshall McLuhan, 1964

It is not the strongest of the species that survives,
nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.
Charles Darwin


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One Biosphere is an alliance of people and organizations who are united to preserve the quality of our global environment through our forum and publications, education, advocacy, research and communications among our members and partners.


      The California Air Resources Board (CARB) has recently passed important regulations which would impose substantial fees on entities that generate significant air pollution.  The regulators are following the actions of San Francisco region's air quality regulators who have proposed to reduce air emissions to 1990 levels.  In addition CARB has proposed a cap and trade system and green technology job training in October 2008 to lead federal attempts to reduced greenhouse gases which are impacting global climate patterns.

      The CARB has the authority to implement a landmark 2006 California law (AB32) which requires California to reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 174 million metric tons by year 2020.  In June 2008, the CARB made public its plan to derive 1/3 of California's energy from renewable resources, including solar and wind power.  The plan required reductions in carbon emissions from automobiles and augmented various energy efficiency programs.

      The public had substantial input in the planning process and draft plan.  Some environmental groups lauded the breadth of the plan due to its positive impact on the California economy.  The Board concluded that the activities required to implement the carbon reduction plan and the development of green technology would create 100,000 jobs and stimulate economy activity in the order of $33 billion.  For instance, the State would offer training programs at community colleges and other institutions. 

      California businesses would incur significant costs in implementing the plan.  California municipalities would bear the responsibility of enacting new land use policies to reduce urban sprawl, thereby reducing lengthy commuting times for workers and lessengin transportation costs associated with commuting.  CARB recommended land use policies that would reduce carbon emissions in connection with new urban development by 5 million metric tons by 2020.

      By passing policies encouraging infill, mixed use development and higher densities and improved public transit systems, traffic will be reduced.  These policies will play an important role in reducing energy consumption, emissions and global warming, thereby improving the health and efficiency of California communities.  This ambitious long term plan will have a positive impact on the California economy by creating energy technology jobs.

Detailed Policies
      In terms of short term objectives, CARB is formulating detailed policies related to fees to be paid by entities that generate significant air pollution.  Earlier in 2008, the Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD) passed revolutionary measures to charge businesses for each ton of carbon released into the atmosphere.  The revenue generated would be utilized to pay for green gas monitoring costs.  The San Francisco regional fees amount to $.044 per metric ton of greenhouse gas emitted and will be coordinated with the California fees to ensure that the overall impact will not be punitive.

      California passed a cap and trade system designed to discourage fossil fuel consumption and reward investment in renewable energy sources.  The plan establishes limits on carbon dioxide emissions and permits businesses to trade carbon credits based upon the amount of production.

      Legislators are in the process of establishing a federal cap and trade system, however because of the wide disparity in energy prices throughout the U.S., adjustments will be required.  For example, California and 6 other Western States as well as 4 Canadian Western provinces are attempting to create a regional carbon market.

Voluntary Actions
      In anticipation of the new cap and trade regulations, many businesses are already voluntarily working on carbon reduction.  In particular, companies are reducing emissions by increasing telecommuting and constructing eco efficient facilities.  Some technology companies have built facilities which utilize renewable energy such as wind and methane.

      These businesses recognize the value of improved goodwill with customers, employees and the public arising from their contemporary renewable energy efforts.  The entire effort reveals the major impact that current environmental protection concerns has on all generations of our community.  For instance, many of the top recent university graduates pay great attention to the environmental concern and sensitivity of their prospective employers.



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