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a Better South
Southerners have special reasons to tackle global warming. Our summers are already hot. Our coastlines are already vulnerable to hurricanes. And our economies include strong tourism, real estate, forestry and agriculture sectors. Higher temperatures mean more rain, but likely dryer soils since heat speeds evaporation. Greater heat and precipitation equals more extreme weather events. In the future, natural systems and the industries that depend on them, such as tourism, real estate, agriculture and forestry, will face major changes.
Climate change is a big enough issue that its effects deserve comprehensive planning, goal-setting and implementation with state legislative buy-in and guidance at each stage of the process. To protect their own interests and to look for opportunities, Southern states owe it to themselves and their people to convene stakeholders, analyze what is occurring and promote state-specific solutions.
Recommendation 1: Each Southern state should designate a leadership body on global warming to develop a statewide global warming emissions reduction plan.
2: Each Southern state's global warming emissions reduction plan should
establish a target reduction that at least reduces emissions to 1990 levels
by 2010 and 10 percent below that level by 2020.
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