In an editorial published last weekend, Power, Privilege, and Climate Change: A Tale of Two Presidents, Vassar College professor Joseph Nevins contrasts the lifestyles of the richest and "poorest" presidents in the world, in the context of global climate change: those of the United States and Uruguay. It is a powerful reminder that we in the U.S. can't look at climate change, point the finger elsewhere, and keep going about our lives.
Results tagged “climate change”
Raising Our Expectations for Climate Leadership, Institutionally and Individually
Baha'is of Grand Prairie Join the Preach-In
The National Preach-In on Global Warming is coming up - Feb 8 - 10 – and I am excited to say that the Bahá'ís of Grand Prairie have signed on! This event is a project of Interfaith Power & Light; its purpose is to "help clergy bring attention to this key moral issue [global climate change] of our time". We may not have clergy in the Bahá'í Faith, but that need not stop our Spiritual Assemblies from participating.
Wetlands Conservation and Advocacy
This past week's terrible storm out East provides a reminder of the importance of our ecological infrastructure; in particular, wetlands. The lessons that we did not heed from Hurricane Katrina will perhaps take hold with Hurricane Sandy impacting the nation's commercial heart: in addition to supporting relief efforts now, it is important for us to consider long-term mitigation against the impact of future large storms, which are likely to be more powerful and more frequent than in centuries past. Instead of, or in addition to, relying on massive levies, seawalls, and the like, we need to support public and private endeavors to restore vital natural systems.
Struggling to feel fully informed about fracking
On the one hand, fracking has been responsible for earthquakes and creates toxic water that must be locked away interminably. On the other hand, cheap natural gas is replacing coal and thus lowering the projected greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S., thanks in no small part to fracking. Furthermore, it is one of the few growth industries in America, helping the economy recover from hard times. They say the earthquakes can be avoided by better techniques, but I have not heard anything positive about the water supply. In some ways, this feels worse than nuclear fission, which provides the POTENTIAL for nasty poisoning of the environment, whereas fracking by definition requires destruction of increasingly scarce (at least here in Texas) water.
Dallas Interfaith Power & Light - "Power Surge"
Dallas Interfaith Power & Light will be hosting a screening and round-table discussion of the Nova Documentary Power Surge, on Monday, September 24, 7:00 PM. This film looks at the state of "green energy" in the United States and the potential impact of technology on softening the blow of global climate change. The event will be held at the Dallas Baha'i Center, 9400 Plano Rd, Dallas, TX (south of Walnut Hill, north of E Northwest Hwy).
In addition, participants of this new faith-based initiative will be presented with an opportunity to comment on the draft Mission and Principles.
Public Comment on Proposed EPA Standards for New Fossil-Fuel Power Plants
The EPA has a proposed new standard for fossil fuel-burning power plants, which will be constructed in the future, that will help ensure a lower carbon future and hopefully spur innovation in the electric industry. They are accepting public comments through June 25th. There are a number of organizations that will help you provide comments directly to the EPA, such as the National Council of Churches or the Union of Concerned Scientists. My letter, with extra citations, is below.
This is a strange sort of spring we're having. And a small part of me died a little death watching the new Lorax trailer this morning.
Baha'is Embrace Sustainability in Face of Climate Change
It's about time. That was my first thought when I heard, late last year, that the Bahá'í International Community had endorsed the Interfaith Declaration on Climate Change. My next thought was: when will this trickle down to us, the people, as a meaningful directive to change our habits? A few weeks ago, the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of the United States sent a letter to all American believers, calling their attention to the Declaration, and to a Seven Year Plan of Action on Climate Change. They encouraged us to actively incorporate sustainable practices into our community life, in a manner more direct than ever before.
Wal Mart Promoting Lower Energy Consumption
Wal-Mart has decided to put their massive supply-management/manipulation machine to work promoting compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs). CFLs are probably the most effective easy strategy for an individual to reduce their carbon footprint. They use a quarter of the energy and last at least four-times as long regular light bulbs (incandescents) &mash; and that means far less electricity and far less carbon dioxide created. The government Energy Star web site has a good overview.
Some complain that they don't like the light — well, you get used to it pretty quickly, and they've made great strides in improving the quality. Ikea has cheap/good bulbs, and they take the bulbs for recycling (that's the biggest drawback to these bulbs — like all fluorescents, they have mercury and should not be thrown into the garbage). If you care at all about the potential impact of global warming, then replacing most if not all of your bulbs with CFLs is a no-brainer.
Climate Stewardship 2005
Global climate change is undeniable, and could be devastating to our economies (around the world) and way of life, far more so than the small economic damage that could occur by limiting green house gas emissions. Please show your support for the McCain-Lieberman Climate Stewardship Act. Read on for more information.
Quickly sharing several bits of environmental-news with you... Willie Nelson distributing bio-diesel in the U.S. ... Antarctica warming ... climate tipping point ... Blair pushes greener agenda ... Oklahoma continues keeping Texas from falling into the Gulf.
Global Dimming Further Verified
In a nutshell: it has been shown the amount of sunlight reaching Earth's surface has been decreasing over the last several decades. This decrease is attributed to particulate matter introduced into the atmosphere by human behavior (i.e soot, chemicals, CO2, etc.). Of course, with less sunlight reaching the surface, the effects of global warming are somewhat mitigated...
Kyoto Ratified - What Next?
The Kyoto Protocol has been ratified by Russia. What happens now? What changes will we see, what effects will it have on the United States, and what comes next?