Can you believe we're only 7 days away from Election Day? This election will have enormous consequences for the country and the world -- especially when it comes to climate change. If we're going to finally get bold climate leadership out of Washington, D.C., we have to do everything possible to get out the climate vote.
We would also like to congratulate our neighbors on the other side of the pond. The European Union announced this week that their original 15 member nations are “on track” to meet their Kyoto treaty commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions:
The countries pledged by 2012 to reduce by 8 percent their emissions of carbon dioxide and other gases thought to contribute to global warming.
Only three countries — Denmark, Italy and Spain — were "off their Kyoto track" and unlikely to meet individual targets, the European Environment Agency said.
But their shortfalls would be made up by Britain, Germany and Sweden, which were expected to show "outstanding performance," according to agency's executive director, Jacqueline McGlade.
So we’ve been hearing a lot of talk about clean coal in the Presidential race, but want to learn the truth about clean coal? Coalisnottheanswer.org just released this great video informing the American public how dirty coal really is!
The truth about coal. The coal industry has spent over $40 million on misleading advertising that touts coal as the next great thing to solve the energy crisis. It’s time for a reality check. We will not stand by idly as they spew their propaganda.
For years, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has argued that it doesn't have the authority to control global warming pollution. But the Supreme Court has rejected that argument, confirming that EPA does have authority to regulate greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act if they "endanger public health and welfare."
Because of the ruling, the EPA is now asking for public comment to help them answer this question:
Do greenhouse gases that cause global warming endanger public health and welfare?"
We’ve all seen how deregulation has caused our economy to crumble but it’s also destroying the clean air we breathe, the fresh water we drink and the thriving American ecosystems. Todd Darling, a documentary filmmaker just completed a film about how deregulation and the environment called, “A Snow Mobile for George.” Check out his guest blog post on Think Progress’ Wonk Room.
This is the first post by Rachel Bergstein, our new communications intern. -- Luis
Although the economic crisis has taken center stage over the last two months, good news from the international front this week indicates that the
climate crisis will not be put on hold. Ahead of the international climate negotiations coming up in Poland this
December, UN officials and environmental ministers committed to not letting the
economic crisis get
in the way of global warming solutions:
“Officials from the U.S., China,
Canada, India, the European Union and more than 30 other countries met for two
days of informal talks in Warsaw ahead of a climate conference in December.
"There was a very strong
consensus that the current financial turmoil should not be an excuse to slow
down action on climate change," Yvo de Boer, executive secretary for the
U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change, told The Associated Press after
"Many ministers said that
addressing climate change can deliver important economic benefits that are
important in the light of the current financial situation as well," de
Scientists say the emission of
carbon and other greenhouse gases, mostly from fossil fuels, must peak within
10 to 15 years and then drop sharply to avoid potentially catastrophic changes
in the climate.”
We already discussed this on the blog earlier this week, but it's worth mentioning here again since 1Sky is about federal solutions, after all. Two prominent House Democrats introduced climate legislation this week—and unfortunately, it falls short of what we'd call 'bold climate action':
House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman John Dingell (D-Mich.) and Energy and Air Quality subcommittee Chairman Rick Boucher (D-Va.) released a 461-page bill that seeks to cut greenhouse gas emissions by roughly 80 percent over the next four decades. Environmental groups welcomed that target, but criticized the bill, which Dingell and Boucher refer to as a “discussion draft,” for delaying dramatic emissions reductions until after 2020.
The long-awaited legislation relies on a so-called cap-and-trade program to make those reductions. Companies would be able to buy or sell emissions allowances on an open market, depending on whether they met or exceeded emissions caps set by federal regulators.
. . . . .
Tony Kreindler, a spokesman for Environmental Defense Fund, said the initial emissions cuts called for in the bill are too gradual. Polluters would only have to reduce emissions by 6 percent over 2005 levels by 2020, a much less aggressive target than the climate change bill the Senate debated earlier this summer.
“The short-term targets really tell people out in the marketplace that they need to get going,” Kreindler said.
Frank O’Donnell, president of Clean Air Watch, noted in an e-mail to reporters that the discussion draft includes the option for federal preemption, something that the liberal elements of the Democratic Party and environmental groups have opposed. The bill could block California and other states from going forward with ongoing efforts to cut carbon dioxide from tailpipe emissions, which Dingell, a big backer of the auto industry, has opposed.
Looking for something to do this weekend? Read Van Jones’ new book, The Green Collar Economy. Learn more about ways to improve the economy as well as the environment and help get Van’s book on the NY Times Bestseller list. Our friends at It's Getting Hot in Here report:
I wrote a new book to propose elegant solutions for our economic and environmental crises. The Green Collar Economy offers a green cure for the dilemmas we face and the financial messes we are in.
At this point, I am willing to concede that Wall Street and the big bankers need some propping up. But while we are at it, we should find a way to bail out the little people — and the planet, too.
So how about a green bailout — to help both? We already took an important step in that direction today. Perhaps the only thing in the whole bailout package that is inarguably good is the support for the U.S. clean energy sector.