"In this way the first men were made, and soon they filled the far reaches of the earth. But for a long time they did not know what to do with their noble limbs or the divine spirit which had been breathed into them. They saw, yet they did not see; they heard, yet they did not hear. . . Then Prometheus [Forethought] came to their aid." Gustav Schawab, Die Sagen des Klassischen Altertums, translated by Marx and Morwitz; Pantheon Books
Our First Priority: Climate change is the most important challenge our world has ever faced. Understanding climate change and its solutions are the most important educational challenges we have ever faced.
“Our best hope is that the public become informed and get angry”
Dr. Warren Washington, Senior Researcher at the National Center for Atmospheric Research, spoke these words in 2006, at the ASES conference in Denver, Colorado. That was FIVE years ago -- We are now more than one-half of the way into the ten-year window estimated that we had to make significant changes in our greenhouse-gas emissions.
It's Time To Get Serious: On Beyond Footprints. . . . 10 Things That You Can Do*.
The preamble explains everything else in the Constitution. And it says: We the People of the United States, in Order to . . . promote the general Welfare . . . do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America. If they are going to carry out this purpose, our representatives have to start by protecting the climate and weather systems that we depend upon.
We Need to Cut Our Greenhouse Gas Emissions by More than Half!
Even if every individual cuts their own energy use by 10 or 20%, we have to do much, much more to balance out our CO2 emissions. (Year 2008, from LLNL data: https://flowcharts.llnl.gov). In fact, using the target of 350 ppm, we have to reduce our green-house gas emissions to less than a fourth of their current level.
To succeed, we have to go where the biggest problems are: We have to stop coal, make transportation more efficient, recapture energy now wasted, exponentially increase our use of renewables.
In other words, we have to influence the society around us.
Think this is hard? -- Well, many European countries, including Germany and France, are already at half the level per person of the U.S. (In 2007, U.S. CO2 emissions were 19.3 Metric Tons per person; in Germany they were 9.6; in Sweden they were 5.4!) See Emissions by Country, World Bank.
Old magician’s tricks “Don’t look behind the curtain”.
“We have to have cheap energy.” (Why? ? No one else does. We’re just paying for it in other ways anyway.)
If they want to "kick-start" the economy, how worried are they that China and Germany, both much smaller economic systems than the U.S., each are investing much more in clean energy technologies? (See Boston Globe August 18, 2012 and Who's WInning the Clean Energy Race?)
The coal and petroleum industries spend millions on lobbyists (“As the World Burns”, J. Godell, Rolling Stone), but it’s your vote that gets them to Washington. Don’t like their answers? ? replace them.
Check It Out. . . In Your Town: Has your town ever had an energy audit? Do they have budget constraints? Go to a town meeting and ask what the total cost of energy is for the town, from fire trucks to school security lights. Bet they don’t know
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