Giving the climactic speech at the Poznan global warming conference, Gore set the new bottom line for action on global warming, right where we've been suggesting: 350 parts per million. The old goal of 450 parts per million is "inadequate," he said. We "need to toughen that goal to 350 parts per million."
The line, which drew the longest applause of the day, was a remarkable repudiation of established targets that have driven the climate debate for more than a decade. Now the world's leading scientific authority on global warming and the world's leading political authority on global warming have said the same thing: 350 is the target we have to hit. Let's get to it.
Over 10,000 people from nearly 190 countries are hunkered down in a huge conference center in Poznan, Poland, working furiously to draft a shared vision and framework for a successful climate deal scheduled to come together in December, 2009 in Copenhagen. I’m scrambling to learn the ropes as an NGO observer and participant representing the 1Sky campaign.
I’ve been in Poznan representing 1Sky for five days. More than 10,000 delegates and activists from nearly 190 nations are working on a framework for a treaty to replace the Kyoto Protocol. During the past few days, the sun has shone rarely and gray skies have blanketed the city. The non-stop drizzle reflects the general mood here.
I love the wonderful traditions we share during the holidays -- ugly reindeer sweaters… bad gifts you can't wait to return… brick-hard fruit cake… recruiting your friends and family to join the movement for bold climate action…
OK, you caught me: maybe that last one isn't quite as traditional as the others -- but it should be! Because the only way we'll solve climate change is by involving millions of Americans -- including your family, friends and neighbors -- in a massive grassroots movement for change. And the holiday season is the perfect time to do it. So we've decided to make this easy and fun by creating a series of holiday e-cards you can share with those you love -- and introduce them to the climate movement in the process.
So nice to hear the President-elect say what we know to be true: “climate change is a matter of urgency.” Anyone else can say it, but it sounds better and means ever so much more when the President-elect says it.
But his company is leading one of the most vile dirty-air efforts imaginable: it has sued to overturn the effort by the EPA to reduce deadly sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides from coal-burning electric power plants like those owned by Duke. (This is one of the few positive moves made by the Bush EPA.) The EPA calculated these cap-and-trade rules would prevent 17,000 premature deaths a year — and yet Rogers wants those requirements thrown out so his company can make a few extra bucks!
I'm a bit tired of people throwing the phrase "change we can believe in" back at Obama every time he makes a decision they disagree with, but in this case it applies: A Duke appointment really wouldn't be change we can believe in. The Department of Energy will play a huge role in implementing Obama's renewable energy agenda, so its next secretary should be someone with better credentials than trying to block the EPA's efforts to regulate sulfur dioxide and excelling at green-washing.
You can let Obama's transition team know what you think here, or call 202-540-3000.
All across America, football is part of many Thanksgiving traditions. Last week, football fans in Detroit partook in Thanksgiving festivities and helped the environment, as the Lions’ Ford Field offset the carbon emissions to go carbon neutral for their Thanksgiving game.
I don't know about you, but I am tired of seeing the pictures of the Big Three CEOs online as they plea for Congress' help. But as Congress prepares to make its bailout decision, we've begun to hear calls for a green economy from the United Auto Workers. So no more "playing Russian roulette with the economy?" Lets hope!
Why is this significant? Consider that Bank of America stands as a pillar of our country's shaky financial system. In fact, the trying economic crisis has only served to strengthen this behemoth bank while other once proud and stable institutions fall by the wayside. All the more reason to engage BoA in using its investment power and influence to affect positive environmental change.
As we watch the U.N. Conference on Climate Change in Poznan, Poland this week, it's clear that the world is waiting for the U.S. to lead on climate change. We're proud that President-elect Barack Obama has promised bold leadership on climate change and has already announced that he agrees with the world’s leading scientists that the U.S. must cut our polluting carbon emissions at least 80% by 2050.