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2/26/10

Hickenlooper: Billions of bucks to beat climate change

Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper has made enough public statements about his views on climate change that a pattern emerges: 1) give a nod to the skeptics 2) say that if there's even a chance it's true, we need to do something and 3) tout solutions.

All three were evident in a podcast interview recently posted by U.S. News & World Report.

PLUS, Hickenlooper calculated a price tag: up to $80 billion a year "on more sustainable energy sources and making sure that we're not putting the planet at risk."

[It's not clear if the interview was conducted before or after Hickenlooper announced Jan. 12 that he would run for governor of Colorado.]

"Many - maybe not all - but a significant majority of our top scientists, believe this is a very, very serious issue," Hickenlooper said about 3:12 into the podcast. "This could change the world as we know it in very profound and negative ways. If there's even a two-percent chance that they're right, we're fools not to be making significant investments to begin to prepare, as we get more data, if they are exactly correct."

What type of things? Incandescent street lights and traffic signals, insulating buildings, green construction, high-efficiency and high-mileage vehicles, he gave as examples. "All these things cost us almost nothing and they can have dramatic effects."

Then came the clincher, making a parallel to personal safety in the home.

"Ask people what they think the chance of their house burning on fire is. And most people will tell you, 'My house is never going to burn on fire,' right? And yet we all buy fire insurance. We pay between .2 [percent] and .5 percent of the value of our home, every year, just to have that insurance. Well, by that measure, we should be spending $60 [billion] to $80 billion a year on more sustainable energy sources and making sure that we're not putting the planet at risk."

Comparing home fire insurance to "global warming insurance" is a talking point of some progressives. See this video...



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BCfhF8fZ9NQ



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