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Live from San Francisco

Martin Vennard | 17:22 UK time, Saturday, 3 November 2007

As Ros wrote earlier, the programme came live from San Francisco, where World Have Your Say talked about climate change, for a one-off, Saturday special.

There's an audience of around 200 at the show in San Francisco, where Paul listed the five meaures California is taking.

Bob from San Jose said it was hard to be optimistic and that the audience was not a true representation of the Californian population.

Another audience member, Meryl, said in Berkley the mayor wants to fund solar panels for homes and that in Oakland people are being trained to build sustainable homes. But California is not doing enough in the public transport area.

Dan said many programmes tried in the past had benefited the rich and that a carbon tax
system may well be better than a "cap-and-trade" system.

Ros asked the audience how many of them use long-life lightbulbs and at least two people admitted they didn't, but on of them said that as soon as the next bulb blew in his home he would fit one.

Chris called from the UK to say he welcomed the Californian moves, but said they would be useless unless the Chinese, Russians and Indians also joined the fight. Todd disagreed with him as did a woman who says she moved to California from a third-world country.

Catherine, the Operating officer from Western States Petroleum Association, also got in touch.

Rich said in Europe many wind turbine projects have been abandoned, while the US has been exporting some bad technology.

Kent said he would like to see the cars and guns melted down. Mustafa said he didn't think the media was covering climate change properly and making people away of the issue.

Some of you have been writing in with with your opinions. Here are a selection of them:

Mike wrote

While ths US uses more per capita than other countries, last year china overtook us in co2 emissions. In fact if china were to ever reach our per capita standard for living the world could not sustain it.

Mary writes

The sun is energy in the plants, in animals, in us. It is even the source of energy in fossil fuels that were plant and animal life millions of years ago. We are now technically advanced enough to convert energy directly from solar energy.

Scott in the UK:

We are not talking about saving the planet. We are talking about saving the human race.

Paul in Barcelona

Has anyone been able to calculate the environmental impact of the Iraq war? All those planes flying round etc. The American war machine probably produces more CO2 than India and China combined!

Charlie writes

Global population growth must be reduced if we are to have any chance of
success in reducing/eliminating global climate change


There is no doubt that the climate is changing but it has always been changing. There are many arguments that I can give to show that the temperature changes are due to the sun and not the CO2.

Phil writes

I'm writing live from the University of Maryland on the outskirts of Washington DC. Today, more than 5500 youths are gathered here at a conference called Power Shift, focused on building a youth movement to stop climate change and bring clean energy and clean jobs to the US.

Linda in Oregon

While California is to be applauded for it's move to improve climate - it has more dependence on cars/trucks than many other states. Each state needs to develop a program that works for it.

Arthur in Palo Alto, CA

We need a cap-and-trade system that auctions off the greenhouse gas pollution credits. That lets the market set the rate based on the amount of the reduction needed. The money needs to go for research and development of alternative energy approaches.

Drummond wrote

This problem is not so much regulatory but technical. The only way the entire world will replace fossil fuels with clean energy sources is if the clean source is cheaper than the dirty one. California should fund clean energy research the way it is doing so with stem cell research.

Paul in San Francisco says:

It all sounds very good, but just like your Tony Blair, the Governor has backtracked on many of the global warming initiatives he proposed or said he'd support.A simple walk around town will show you that even the most ardent
environmentalists here still drive cars as primary transportation.

Abdelilah in Marrakesh, Morocco

Saving the world from the disastrous effects of climate change is above all the responsibility of heavily industrialised countries that put out the most of carbon emissions. Pressure should also be put just on economically emerging nations like India and China that are considered the next polluters of the environment.


Global warming can be stopped if:
1. All space exploration is banned.
2. The International Space Station dismantled.
3. All nuclear warheads, testing and stockpile scrapped.


I would urge everyone in the world who has the means to do, is to put photovoltaic panels on your roofs, put solar hot water panels on your roofs, and put in solar hot water space heating through pipes in your floors.

John the Baker in Oakland

CFCs are a big contributer to Global Warming and the greenhouse effect. i am not sure what scientists say about the ozone layer above the east and west coasts but it does seem as if skin cancer rates have increased. I am wondering if there is any documentation on the state of the ozone layer above the east and west coast of USA.

Ian from Arizona:

It all comes down to what's more important: saving money or saving the world? It's people like President Bush who pass on the misinformation that creating new technologies or passing laws that raise the standards on pollution will effectively shut down our economy.

Felipe in Belgium

We, the whole World need to be realistic and united. We can make changes by nations alone such as the new laws for California, but we need an international body which can enforce changes globally.

J. shanti writes:

Environmentalists need to explain global warming in the language the people that are causing it understand: economic terms - rendering the planet uninhabitable will be bad for business!

Rob in Tomball, Texas, says:

The California initiatives are a good way to start fighting climate change. Undoubtedly they will have an effect on emissions in that state. Let's extend the concept a little bit and say that all 50 states, 10 Canadian provinces and 37 Mexican states passed the same statutes.

Daniel writes:

Should we fight climate change the California way?
In short, no. Are these good ideas? Yes, but I don't see any sense of urgency here at all.

Uzondu Esionye, in Monrovia, Liberia

America is the world's greatest economy. I think if measures are going to be taken by the Authorities in California to cut down greenhouse gas emissions, thumbs up to them, I wish them sucess in the process.


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