to brown in the autumn of his vice-presidency. Preliminary indications of what the President will bring to the table in December have been less than encouraging. In the past, Gore took a firm stand on the issue, as in 1992 at the Rio de Janeiro U.N. Conference on Environment and Development, when he lambasted the Bush administration for failing to identify specific reduction goals for U.S. greenhouse emissions. And Clinton has said \(reportedly after reading The Heat Is On the U.S. could effect a 20 percent emissions reduction immediately with existing technology. But at a White House meeting of environmentalists in early October, Clinton delivered the unmistakable soundbite of retreat, opining that the people of the United States were “not ready” for a prohibitive gas tax, one likely method of reducing fossil fuel consumption. Ready or not, Gelbspan warns, as the largest consumer of energy in the world, the U.S. has to lead the charge, and we have to do it now. Climate scientists estimate that restoring the atmosphere to its natural balance will require no less than a 60 percent reduction in current emissions levels. Gelbspan proposes that the $20 billion a year federal subsidy to the oil, coal, and natural gas industries \(along with the redirected into alternative energy production, utilizing already well-established solar, wind, and hydroelectric technologies, and other methods currently in the research stage. Meanwhile, this technology must be shared with developing countries, in particular China and India, who have balked at limiting their fossil fuel emissions during their current critical stage in economic development. This is the only way to ensure shared participation in emissions reductions among the developing countries \(a prerequisite for support of any support of the AFL-CIO \(which fears the loss of U.S. jobs in a scenario of unilateral Climate change is the mother of all environmental nightmares, but its implications go beyond ecology. It is also a threat to democracy, a chilling prospect that Gelbspan outlines in a chapter on the “coming permanent state of emergency.” He postulates a world in which climate-related disasters undermine national economies and foment police-state responses to the ensuing general mayhem. If that scenario still seems far-fetched to you, then that’s probably the fault of this reviewer. If it doesn’t, then get a copy of The Heat Is On for yourself, and quote it to your friends, the editor of your local daily, and your elected representatives. Otherwise Congressman Rohrabacher and his Orange County constituents may be doing their surfing under martial law, ten miles inland of the Pacific Coast Highway. Nate Blakeslee is an Austin freelance writer and environmental activist. CLASSIFIEDS ORGANIZATIONS THE TEXAS OBSERVER is seeking volunteers to help with a variety of tasks. Volunteers need not live in Austin. If you can spare some time, call WORK for single-payer National Health Care. Join GRAY PANTHERS, intergenerational advocates against ageism and for progressive policies promoting social and economic justice. $20 individual, $35 family. 3710 Cedar, TEXAS AIDS NETWORK dedicated to improving HIV/AIDS policy and funding in Texas. Individual membership $25, P.O. Box 2395, Austin, TX REVOLTED BY EXECUTIONS? Join the Amnesty International Campaign Against the Death Penalty. WORK FOR OPEN, responsible government in Texas. Join Common Cause/Texas, 1615 Guadalupe, #204, htlp://www.ccsi.com/comcause. TEXAS TENANTS’ UNION. 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MLK, Austin, TX 78702. $25/year. Volunteers also needed. Contact Jim HarringTHE MILE HIGH POETRY SOCIETY will host a Winterfest Poetry contest with $500 in cash prizes. For contest rules, to: Mile High Poetry Society; P.O. Box 211116; Denver, CO 80221 SERVICES MARY NELL MATHIS, CPA, 20 years’ experience in tax, litigation support, and other analyses. 901 Rio Grande, HOUSEBUYERS, The Consumer’s Agent. Specialists in representing central Austin residential buyers. WORLDWISE DESIGN, awardwinning graphic design studio. For creative, effective and professional designs for your educational and promotional materials, call TAOS SKIING AND MORE. Little Tree Bed & Breakfast. Authentic adobe hacienda near the slopes. See home page URL http://taoswebb.com/ hotel/littletree/. EMPLOYMENT THE AMERICAN INSTITUTE FOR LEARNING in Austin is recruiting 1725 year old men and women for our two AmeriCorps programs. Earn a living allowance and an educational scholarship of $4,725. Build environmentally responsible homes for low income families with Casa Verde Builders Maintain our public parks through trail construction and habitat restoration with the Environmental Corps CLASSIFIED RATES: Minimum ten words. One time, 50 cents per word; three times, 45 cents per word; six times, 40 cents per word; 12 times, 35 cents per word; 25 times, 30 cents per word. Telephone and box numbers count as two words, abbreviations and zip codes as one. Payment must accompany order for all classified ads. Deadline is three weeks before cover date. Address orders and inquiries to Advertising Director, The Texas Observer, 307 West 7th, Austin, TX DECEMBER 5, 1997 THE TEXAS OBSERVER 27
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