Dec 20, 2018
by Tish Levee
Climate change is finally making it into the mainstream media.
For the first time, it seems the media’s beginning to cover climate change in a meaningful way. Over the last month, I’ve seen many items in my news feed that weren’t just from environmental organizations. As a matter of fact, both CBS and CNN live streamed Bernie Sanders’ Town Hall Meeting, “Solving Our Climate Crisis,” on December 3rd. It’s worth watching even though it’s over 90 minutes long. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w0IgDgyHEfc.
I’ve been preaching for some time, that if we don’t deal with climate change, do it right, and do it now—nothing else is really going to matter. When I went to the Climate March in 2014 in NYC, I heard we had 20–40 years to make a difference; recent reports say the window is only 10–12 years. Now is the time.
Three months—three reports.
In October I wrote about the IPCC report; in November, California’s 4th Climate Assessment; this month the federal governments released its 4th National Climate Assessment. Compiled by more than 300 scientists at 13 federal agencies, this alarming climate science report became front-page news, despite the Administration’s plan to bury it by releasing it on Black Friday. In it, experts predict uncontrollable wildfires, deadly storms, and devastating floods will wreak havoc on the globe — and the U.S. economy. “Climate change threatens the health and well-being of the American people by causing increasing extreme weather, changes to air quality, the spread of new diseases by insects and pests, and changes to the availability of food and water,” the report states. Still the Administration and many Republican politicians persist in their climate denial, with Mr. Trump saying, “I don’t believe it.”
As I write this, COP 24 (Conference of the Parties #24) is going into overtime. Meant to create a rulebook to turn the 2015 Paris Climate Accords into reality, agreement has been elusive. First four oil producing nations — the US, Russia, Saudi Arabia, and Kuwait — refused to “welcome,” or endorse, the recent UN’s IPCC report which said pollution from fossil fuels and other sources must be cut dramatically in just 12 years to avoid disastrous warming. Then the US’s presentation promoting fossil fuels to fight global warming was laughable. Smaller nations feeling threatened by climate change are making the loudest calls for action. Leaders of island nations are reminding delegates that their countries could be swallowed by rising sea levels if climate action isn’t taken.
According to the Global Carbon Project, fossil fuel emissions rose by 1.7% in 2017, and are set to rise by 2.7% in 2018. Meanwhile, according to the EPA, the amount of plastic waste from the business sector doubled in the last decade, with single-use coffee cups an increasing concern, while plastic waste replaced organic waste as the largest component of household trash.
A sweeping climate policy to transition away from all fossil fuels while lessening income equality ― surged from the fringes of policy debates into the political mainstream in barely a month. On December 12th this effort to establish a select committee in the House of Representatives on a Green New Deal picked up its strongest endorsements yet from the co-chairs of the 78-member Congressional Progressive Caucus and from the first labor union to back the proposal. At least 35 incoming or sitting House members, including Jared Huffman, support the resolution as do four senators. Tell Mike Thompson you want him to support this at https://mikethompsonforms.house.gov/contact/.
The Prime Minister was behind the declaration for Sweden to be 100% renewable by 2040.
London’s Assembly sets new target for becoming carbon neutral.
Moving the target date forward from 2050 to 2030, the Assembly directed Mayor Khan to declare a Climate Emergency and put an emergency plan in place.
Locally, Sebastopol gets 1st electric bus.
Sonoma County Transit’s first electric bus began service in Sebastopol December 10th, shortly after Santa Rosa officials announced plans to purchase four zero-emission buses with nearly $3 million in federal funding.
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