Wednesday, December 29, 2010

350 eARTh Video

A great re-cap video of the eARTh project organized by last month.  Check out their new year-in-review webpage too.

Stay going.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas

I probably won't be making it to church this Christmas, but here are some beautiful words from Reverend Desmond Tutu to reflect on this holiday season:
The evolution of the world is a great manifestation of God.  As scientists understand more and more about the interdependence not only of living things but of rocks, rivers -- the whole of the universe -- I am left in awe that I, too, am a part of this tremendous miracle.  Not only am I a part of this pulsating network, but I am an indispensable part.  It is not only theology that teaches me this, but it is the truth that environmentalists shout from the rooftops.  Every living creature is an essential part of the whole... Our surroundings are awesome.  We see about us majestic mountains, the perfection of a tiny mouse, a newborn baby, a flower, the colors of a seashell.  Each creature is most fully that which it is created to be, an almost incredible reflection of the infinite, the invisible, the indefinable.  All women and men participate in that reflected glory.  We believe that we are in fact the image of our Creator.  Our response must be to live up to that amazing potential -- to give God glory by reflecting his beauty and his love.  That is why we are here and that is the purpose of our lives.  In that response we enter most fully into relationships with God, our fellow men and women, and we are in harmony with all creation.

Merry Christmas and Stay Going!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Million Letter March

The Million Letter March is the kind of thing we need right now.  Talking heads and extremists have been telling us that a carbon tax - or just about any tax for that matter - is politically infeasible for so long that it's easy to start believing it.  But there are millions of Americans who understand why we have taxes and how a representative government can work to promote the best interests of the people by protecting the common good.

When the 112th Congress starts on January 3rd, a flood of letters will help our representatives see that climate disruption - as probably the greatest threat to ever face modern civilization - is worth confronting with a tax.  Extreme sacrifice by all of us would be warranted to avoid this threat - but luckily that's not necessary.  A price on carbon will drive innovation, encourage easy energy savings that will save money, create jobs and improve our national security and quality of life.  For those who think this looks like just more ' big government' - it's not, it's correcting a market failure based on more-perfect information, it's making our free market system more legitimate and efficient.

So please check out the website and watch the video below to learn more, write a simple letter, submit it to the site to be counted and send it to your reps in the new year.

Stay going. 

Sunday, December 12, 2010

COP16 Wraps Up in Cancun

Another year of international climate negotiations wraps up as the 16th Conference of the Parties (COP) concludes in Cancun, Mexico.  There was much less hype around this year's meeting than there was about last year's COP 15 in Copenhagen, and while there was no big, binding agreement, most reports indicate that solid progress was made, and importantly, faith in the process was restored.

Kate Sheppard's recap on provides a great, quick review of the highlights and outcomes.

What's discouraging though, is that in the US no one really knows - or cares - that this process is happening and how important it is.  Below is a total bummer of a video showing a "people on the street" view in the country responsible for the vast vast majority of global emissions (particularly when you look at cumulative emissions over time, and the fact that most of China's emissions go to support stuff for us) are completely unaware of what's going on.

Vested interests here in the US (again, the location of the activities and demand for goods responsible for the vast majority of the world's emissions) continue to fight for the status quo and successfully confuse the issue to the point where it's no wonder most people don't get the information or just block it out.

Still, progress continues to be made and there are positive signs - the R20 initiative is mobilizing sub-national government action, the ACUPCC is demonstrating the higher education sector's leadership, is raising awareness and building an international grassroots movement, DeSmogBlog is uncovering the climate cover-up day-in and day-out to help people identify and see past the disinformation campaigns, the newly announced Open Climate Network will bring transparency to measuring nations' progress on climate action, ICLEI is helping local communities reduce emissions, RGGI has put a price on carbon in the Northeast, and much much more.

But it's all just early steps in terms of where we need to be to avoid the worst impacts of climate disruption and to weather the impacts that its already too late to avoid the best we can.  Staying up to speed on the policies and solutions, and continuing to diligently support all of the parts solution - large and small, from calling senators and signing petitions to installing LED lightbulbs and geothermal heat pumps - is critical if we're to be successful.

Stay going.