Day 1 of the much anticipated international climate talks in Poznan, Poland has come and gone. The official opening of the United Nations Conference on Climate Change (COP 14) featured the election of Mr. Maciej Nowicki, the Polish Minister of the Environment, as president of the global gathering.
As the days continue to shorten and snow flakes replace the falling leaves, don’t forget to take some time to give thanks for all the good in the world and keep the hope alive! I know we’ve all heard it a million times but it’s important to take successes wherever we can find them.
Now I’m not trying to be too optimistic or too corny. In fact, this will be a challenge for me. You see, I have the cunning ability to see flaws in EVERYTHING! But I’m up for the challenge and grateful and hopeful for the future of our country.
The very talented Joelle Robinson, 1Sky Field Director for Washingon State and Oregon, was kind enough to share with us this poem she wrote, called simply, "hope." It should inspire all of us as we look forward to the big changes we want to make a reality next year.
Coal River Mountain, one of the last mountains left intact in the Coal River Valley of West Virginia, is once again in danger (h/t to It's Getting Hot in Here):
This just in from the Coal River Mountain Wind Project –
the thousands of emails and calls you sent in September temporarily
saved Coal River Mountain from Massey’s explosives for almost two
months, but today the outlook just started to look a lot worse. We need
you to call Governor Manchin at 1-888-438-2731 and remind him that
thousands of people across America are watching West Virginia–and
waiting for Governor Manchin to choose long term prosperity and clean
energy over mountaintop removal and Massey Energy’s profits.
Green is the new trendy color in Congress !
This week Representative Henry Waxman (D-CA) took over John Dingell's
(D-Mich) chairmanship and will take control of the House Energy and
Commerce Committee in January. With the ban on coal plants last week and now with Waxman in control, we can only hope that 2009 will be a year full of bold climate action. Climate Progress
With Waxman’s victory, many expect
the Beverly Hills Democrat to bring a liberal voice to the podium as he
crafts energy and environmental legislation for the incoming Obama
Waxman has not given many details of his proposed agenda, but a
clear look at his record suggests he will pursue aggressive pollution
cleanup for all industrial sectors, as well as some of the most
aggressive limits for U.S. business as it embarks on a first-ever
mandatory program to curb heat-trapping greenhouse gas
Then yesterday, we learned of Henry Waxman's successful bid to become Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, ousting long-time chair John Dingell. For the proverbial cherry on top, Senator Barbara Boxer (Chair of the Committee on Environment and Public Works) announced she'll introduce two major pieces of climate legislation next year. This is all on top of the de-facto moratorium on new coal power plants handed down by an EPA board last week. All in all, a pretty good week-plus.
It’s not just the cold November air that’s taking our breath away these days. It’s the brisk winds of change heralding the dawn of a new administration and a new national commitment to address global warming, and to do so in a way that promises to stimulate a much needed economic recovery.
California Rep. Henry A. Waxman on Thursday officially dethroned longtime Energy and Commerce Chairman John Dingell, upending a seniority system that has governed Democratic politics in the House for decades.
In a secret ballot vote in the Cannon Caucus Room, House Democrats ratified an earlier decision by the Steering and Policy Committee to replace the 82-year-old Dingell with his 69-year-old rival. The vote was 137-122 in favor of Waxman.
The ascension of Waxman, a wily environmentalist, recasts a committee that Dingell has chaired since 1981 with an eye toward protecting the domestic auto industry in his native Michigan. The Energy and Commerce Committee has principal jurisdiction over many of President-elect Barack Obama's top legislative priorities, including energy, the environment and health care.
This change in the Energy and Commerce Committee will have important consequences for climate policy. We'll have more on the significance of this stunning development soon.
We are at a unique moment in history. We have an opportunity that maybe comes only once in a generation. And I think that the Democratic Caucus agreed with me that we must meet that challenge and move forward on those important policies.
We have a unique opportunity. And we may well turn out to be as historical as the Congress was in 1933.
What I don’t want to see happen is the Congress end up the way we were in 1994, without success. I feel confident we’re going to have the success we need.
The American people are hurting all around this country. They’re demanding change. They’re demanding action. And we must live up to their expectations.
Here's the first installment of what we hope will become a regular 1Sky feature. In this video briefing, Campaign Director Gillian Caldwell talks about the meaning of the 2008 election (and especially the election of Barack Obama) for climate policy, and what we must do next year to make bold climate action in Washington a reality. Please spread this video far and wide!