Hi all. I am from Minnesota, which, I am sorry to admit, is part of the United States. I am doing my best to manage in the heat and insanity of life in Washington DC. Since 2006, the country seems to have begun to come to its senses, but the climate hasn't improved at all. I am the proud father of a 2 and a half year old boy, who I think has a better facility with numbers than our President. Well, in fairness I bet the President knows that a 6 is a 9 when turned upside down. But I wonder if he has the imagination to turn a 4 into an H?
I love being part of the International team. I am continually amazed by how much a small group of dedicated people can positively influence international negotiations. If any of you have a question about whether some piece of information gleaned from some obscure source now means that Bush is about to change his position on climate change. The answer is no. He is not. Feel free to call me and ask any time, but rest assured, when he really changes his position, we will send out an e-mail or two.
Global Warming & Energy Team
blogging from Bali
Learn more about the climate negotiations here
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change just released their latest bombshell--a summary of their previous work that brings together a very scary vision for the future if we don't act now on global warming.
Essentially, the IPCC echoed what every serious person has been saying for years--the planet is warming, we're the cause, and we must stop now to stave off untold despair and suffering. I read their report with a real sadness and a certainty that the scale of the problem was greater than I could understand.
My uneasiness was supported by what I saw the next two days. On Saturday I took my usual Saturday bike ride up through the hills of Marin County, here in sunny CA. As I reached the quiet town of Sausalito, I couldn't help but notice along the bike path all the cars filled with people who drove to ride their bikes. Yes, drove to ride their bikes! I thought to myself, how can we expect change when some people are so selfish, so clueless?
Then Sunday I watched the talking heads on display on the Sunday morning talk shows. First came Meet the Press, then Face the Nation and then This Week. With the IPCC's recent report fresh in my mind, I figured to hear some fresh policy discussions on the problem. Nope. Only John Edwards spoke about the issue and he only mentioned it in passing. It appears the media-created narratives of Hillary's experience verus Barack's youthful exhuberence were the topics of the day, along with a healthy helping of Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee sparring news. Goodness gracious, folks. We're out here yearning for you to lead. Can't you hear us? Do you even want to?
Naturally, and with wonderful calm, my optimism returned today as I sat at my desk at work. It was then, surrounded by my amazing and brave colleagues, that I was reminded that Greenpeace will not stop until we change the debate. Change the future. Change the world. Wanna join us? Go to www.projecthotseat.org to see how.
This past Saturday was the second Step It Up, a national day of action to find out who are the real leaders on global warming. This day of action built on Step It Up’s April 14 rally, which produced more than 1,400 events in 50 states, the largest global warming event in U.S. history.
Greenpeace contributed to Step It Up in a big way. Our Project Hot Seat field organizers held events in 11 places and our Frontline campaign had six events of their own. Here in San Francisco, we joined with other Green groups and had a rally outside the UN Plaza. The day was well-attended; we even had an appearance from erstwhile candidate for the House, Cindy Sheehan.
If you don't know anything about Step It Up, here are their demands, which almost mirror our own: a carbon cut of 80 percent by 2050, a moratorium on any new coal-fired power plants, and five million new Green jobs. Check out photos from Greenpeace's events here and go over to www.stepitup2007.org to see what happened nationally.
Now that Step It up is over, we'll go back to work on getting Congress to take action. The best bill in the House to accomplish a significant reduction in CO2 emissions is Henry Waxman’s Safe Climate Act. The bill has 142 co-sponsors. The magic number is 216, the number of votes needed in the House to pass a bill. You can help keep up the momentum from Step It Up and help pass the Safe Climate Act at www.projecthotseat.org.
Greenpeace Media Officer
Thousands of students gathered outside Congress today to lobby for a greener future. Students from all over the US representing several college campuses from Alaska to the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico left their differences behind, overcame student apathy, and united in one voice to demand bold changes with the current environmental Legislation. With their personal stories and passion students proposed the 1SKY Platform in the US Congress. The 1Sky Platform consists of bold principles to be applied in specific pieces of legislation that address global warming as a priority.
The 1Sky movement puts priority in what it takes to tackle global warming in an effective way. The first principle consists on creating over 5 million green jobs creating opportunities of involvement in the environmental movements to the working class. These green jobs would trigger the momentum needed to create healthy, efficient communities, and develop our local economy while we conserve 20% of our energy by 2015. Second, as the US we need to lead the world once more in technology and innovation and take the initiative to cut reduce carbon emission by an 80% by 2050. Lastly, the 1Sky Platform proposes that Congress should reprogram their investments to more clean energy and smart transportation.
In times in which we are deeply concerned for the effects of global warming, students and voters took action once more and discuss with their congressmen the actions needed to put an end to global warming. The students had undergo a weekend of training and discussion regarding the environment in the 1st annual Powershift conference. This conference was organized by a joint group of organizations known as the Energy Action Coalition. Powershift ended today with a massive lobby day in which students from across the nation meet outside the House of Representatives, wearing green hard hats and chanted with all their heart “20% by 2015.” We expect that as youth from this nation our voice is heard as much as our vote is taken into consideration. And as we make history, we know that Powershift is the beginning of a long journey. A journey that got started today when thousands of students took the challenge to develop some networking and relationships that are needed so that their voice for a greener future is heard loud and clear and we always “remember, remember the 5th of November.”