Category Archives: Uncategorized

Obama promises action on climate change–will he deliver?

That’s what environmentalists are asking this week, after the President made combatting climate change a  “legacy goal” in his second inaugural address:   “We will respond to the threat of climate change, knowing that the failure to do so would betray our children and future generations. Some may still deny the overwhelming judgment of science, but none can avoid the devastating impact of raging fires, and crippling drought, and more powerful storms.” Mother Jones has run three articles in two days gathering responses of environmental groups who are trying to gauge Obama’s intentions to issue executive orders and instructions to agencies like the EPA, since Congress seems too dysfunctional to produce meaningful legislation in the short term. Indeed, Melinda Pierce of the Sierra Club says that Congress “has become a place where good ideas go to die.”  She lists several things Obama could do through executive orders and do” fairly quickly to demonstrate his commitment to the environment: denying the permit for the Keystone XL pipeline, finalizing greenhouse gas rules for new power plants, writing rules for planet-warming emission from existing power plants, and improving fuel economy standards for long-haul trucks and other heavy vehicles.”

Lou Leonard, of the World Wildlife Fund, wants Obama to outline a plan for controlling runaway carbon pollution:  “A sustained national conversation isn’t enough. The president should lay out the steps he can and will take to clean up our energy system, help communities prepare for climate disruption and encourage the rest of the world to ramp up action.” We don’t have time for more false starts. The environmental groups and their members are awaiting the answer to this headline’s question: “Does Obama Mean It This Time on Climate?” Let’s make him mean it; we can take the lead and he will have to follow us. Coming soon: How to mobilize for the fight of our lives.

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Keystone XL Pipeline may be back: Bill McKibben on the Colbert Report

If you get action emails from Move On, 350.org, or NRDC, you know about the “undead” Keystone pipeline, and may have been one of the 700,000+ signers of the petition against bringing it back to life. You may have missed Bill McKibben, co-founder of 350.org, on the Colbert Report Feb. 13  Check out Bill’s third attempt to enlist Stephen in the fight to make climate change a top-tier issue. He was jailed after a protest at the White House, which led to Obama’s decision to shelve the Keystone XL pipeline for now; Senate Republicans have brought it back to life by introducing an amendment to a transportation bill, which led to the emergency petition and signature drive. The segment is embedded on Rolling Stone online; or watch it with more context on the Huffington Post Green blog.

Climate Change and Marine Debris–Twin Concerns

A resident of Hawai’i, I’m making a commitment via this blog to work on two huge problems facing us, climate change and marine debris. Those of us who live on islands are acutely aware of these two threats. I’ll participate as a communications activist,  posting news that is realistic and sometimes terrifying, but overall emphasizing proposed solutions, hopeful signs, and progressive actions by others–aiming for 50% positive posts. I’ll link to groups’ websites readers can visit to make their contribution, by taking individual action or joining a group or both. I’ll post ways to act by insisting that our leaders develop policies to mitigate global warming and point to groups and agencies who have ideas about slowing the accumulation of and cleaning up marine debris. I’ll steer readers to books, films, articles, and websites that help them become smart shoppers, donate to the most effective nonprofits, and travel more sustainably.  I welcome suggestions and comments on all these topics.