Democrats in the Senate are talking about climate change policy. (Photo courtesy of NASA)
Democrats in the US Senate are talking about climate change legislation again. But its fate is uncertain. Tamara Keith reports from Washington:
Democrats in the US Senate are talking about climate change legislation again. But it’s fate is uncertain. Tamara Keith reports from Washington:
Barbara Boxer is the senator who chairs the Environment and Public Works committee. The committee will be putting together the climate change legislation. A climate bill didn’t get anywhere last year in the senate, but Boxer says things have changed since then.
“A lot of those who voted against us are no longer here.”
But what’s not changed is the argument over how sweeping controls on carbon emissions could affect the economy. Those opposed call climate legislation a job-killer. Steve Cochran with the Environmental Defense Fund argues the opposite.
“If those of us who want to see strong climate policy are effective and articulate and persuasive on the jobs argument then I think we can actually get this done. And if we’re not I don’t think we will.”
Boxer said she didn’t know when the full senate would take up the legislation.
Wheels are turning both in young minds and innovative transportation. Both could
help revive the Rust Belt. (Photo by Max Eggeling)
The loss of traditional manufacturing jobs has hit Great Lakes states hard in recent years. But some business owners believe they are on the cusp of creating a new type of manufacturing base. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Julie Grant spent some time in one community that’s discussing how new businesses can provide a foundation for the future:
The loss of traditional manufacturing jobs has hit Great Lakes states hard in recent
years. But some business owners believe they are on the cusp of creating a new type of
manufacturing base. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Julie Grant spent some time in
one community that’s discussing how new businesses can provide a foundation for the
Not long ago, there were lots of good-paying factory jobs in northeast Ohio. But the state
has lost 200,000 manufacturing jobs in the past four years. Some business people and
academics are trying to shape a new economy for the region. Their efforts could be
symbolized by a little bird…
“I need a Sparrow, I need it…”
A sparrow is an electrically charged three-wheel motorcycle that’s fully covered in steel.
It looks like a tear drop… or maybe a gym shoe. David Ackerman isn’t sure if he’d pick
one in bright orange…
“…but look, there it goes, look at it go! Is that the weirdest thing you’ve ever seen? I
love it! It’s like something out of “sleeper.” But it’s very sleek and cool and futuristic…
Does it really go 70? Yeah, it goes 70….”
While Ohio and other Midwestern states might have a tough time competing globally in
the steel market, some economists believe innovative transportation is one way Ohio
could build a foundation for a new economy. The state has put millions of dollars into
fuel cell research, Honda is building hybrid cars in central Ohio, and newer companies
are working to make auto engines cleaner and more efficient.
Some of those business owners gathered with people from the community to discuss how
transportation technology could be part of the region’s future. Bob Chalfant of a
company called Comsense spoke on the panel. He says the technology they’re
developing could have a huge impact…
“…the benefits to Cleveland are jobs. We figure the total market for pressure sensors for
combustion applications is about 2.2 billion dollars.”
Chalfant’s company expects to create 2,000 jobs in Cleveland. But if businesses like
Comsense are going to girder the area’s new economy, they’re going to need educated
employees for their high tech manufacturing jobs. The problem is, many young educated
folks are leaving the Midwest.
Meredith Matthews is a public school teacher in inner city Cleveland. She says they’re
trying to train students for these kinds of jobs, but they need direction from these new
“I teach in the third world known as the Cleveland Public Schools. I’m introducing
myself, so that if anybody needs kids, we got ’em. If you want to stop by and talk to me,
I’ll show you how to get kids, I’ll show you how to get in the door.”
Local universities and community colleges already have some research and training in
fuel cell technology. But mechanic Phil Lane looks at Cleveland’s poverty rate, the
highest among all big cities in the nation, and wants these companies to start training kids
“We need to grab kids in the second and third grade, particularly in the very bad
neighborhoods, before the neighborhood can get to the kid. That’s what we really need to
Lane says training poor children early would provide a real foundation for a new
economy in Cleveland. Many communities that have lost their job base are starting
similar conversations and searching for ways to fit in to the global marketplace.
For the Great Lakes Radio Consortium, I’m Julie Grant.