Lea Lai

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Dear President-elect Barack Obama,

Congratulations on your victory on the President election! I am very glad that the American people have elected you as their new President. I used to be an outsider of political election, but the past few weeks I totally get involved in this exciting event. You are a foresighted leader who has realized that climate change is “one of the biggest challenges of our time”. As Professor Jonathan Isham mentions in his blog post on IslandPress, this is a historical moment happening in United States—both the leaders of the climate movement and of the Obama campaign have a conviction of a better future, an objective evaluation of present crisis, and the most important, a willing for seeking changes.

Each year, greenhouse gas emissions keep raising increasingly and global warming become more serious than ever before. And now, climate changes become our most concerned issue. We expect that you will lead the new government to take energy-transformation as an urgent national mission and unite businesses, international organizations to build a climate project to help the world’s drive toward a clean-energy future.

Let’s take an action to start a climate movement. Climate change can still be reversed by the promotion of clean energy. We know how to produce renewable energy from solar, wind, geothermal resources, and biomass materials. We also have the technology for producing more environmentally-friendly-products like hybrid and fuel-efficient vehicles, green building, As William S. Becker writes in the 100 day Action Plan to Save the Planet, “We don’t lack technology; we have lacked the political will to use it.” He points out that the real challenge that we are facing now is a big gap between what scientific community says we need, and what political community is willing to do. Therefore, we need you to act decisively to build a climate movement.

Here, I will combine the usages of technologies for transportation and the cap-and-trade program to offer a scenario for building a portfolio of a clean energy future. First, I think we should focus on the technologies that can help us reducing carbon dioxide emissions from transportation since the main cause of global warming is our consumption of fossil fuels. Recent studies from Soil and Tillage Research show that replacing fossil energy with renewable energy like biofuels is an important way of reaching the goals of climate policy since they are all non-toxic, biodegradable, and have fewer greenhouse gas emissions. Besides these advantages, the United States can also reduce the dependence on import petrol by producing a great amount of biofuels products. Therefore, biofuels are considered as an energy source that will help achieve energy and climate security.

Once we are successful to cut down the carbon dioxide emissions from transportation, it will be easier for us to make a further step to use cap-and-trade system to restrict the other industrial GHGs emitters. The reason that I propose we should focus the usage of cap-and-trade system on industrial sectors is companies will be more flexible to make allocations to share the carbon emissions than individuals.

I believe that United States has already prepared to build a clean energy future—we have the most advanced technologies, we have an abundant finical support, and the most important, we have you to lead the government setting up the policy for clean energy. I can see that there is a change happening in United States. We have made the first step by electing you as our President who willing to help the nation to create a clean energy future. Now that’s the change we can believe in.


Lea Lai