Saturday :: Aug 4, 2007

YearlyKos: Global Warming Roundtable

by Mary

Lots of interesting panels, roundtables and presidential forums happening at YearlyKos this week. Today I attended the Global Warming Roundtable and found it to be an urgent call to arms. As Navin Nayak of the League of Conservation Voters said, even the progressive movement isn't spending enough time or attention on the problem of global warming. And he noted that the next President will shape the world in which we live. When you look at major legislation, the biggest and most critical bills only get one bite at the apple to get past and we really need to get this bill right the first time in order to affect the future in which we will live. Global warming is such a critical problem and we have so little time to address it that what we really need is a significant push from the netroots to help build the momentum. The public must demand action on this subject and this will only happen if we all work to pressure our representatives that we expect them to address this issue now.

I was so glad to see Bill McKibben speak in person. I found him just as eloquent and compelling of a speaker as a writer. And in my opinion, he is one of the most beautiful writers about the environment I know. He says that the Step-It-Up nationwide demonstration in April was an amazing success. They had expected maybe 14 protests since there was no funding for real advertising, but more than 100 communities got involved. Furthermore, he said that they will be planning more demonstrations coming up to help keep the heat on. The next one will be November 3rd. Start thinking about what you might do on that day to demand action.

David Roberts of Grist speaks succinctly and straightforwardly - and provides his information as very well thought out soundbites. He said that there are four things that we need to focus on for the type of legislation that is getting created right now.

  • Make sure that the energy bill solves the Global Warming problem - because you can create an energy bill that is really bad for the environment.

  • Spend time demonizing coal, because as James Hansen has warned, one thing we need to do is to keep the coal in the ground instead of poisoning our planet.
  • Focus on renewables. What we have now is not a problem of technology (we know what works, we can build it now), it's a matter of politics. Just do it!
  • The US must go first. We cannot let arguments that say we can't do anything until the Chinese and Indians do something. First of all, this is an immoral argument as we in the US have used up the majority of the Earth's carbon budget, so it is our place to do what we can to pay for the problem now. Second, they will also start acting when they see we are taking steps to clean up our act.

The other panelist was Kit Batten who is the Director for Environmental Policy for The Center For American Progress. She's been working closely with the Congress to see that the bill that comes to the President's desk does what we need. When I met her afterwards, she said that we can keep up with what's going on in this area by going to their Climate Progress blog.

What the panel strongly advocated was that we need to have every Presidential candidate campaign on what they will do to address global warming so that when they get elected, they will have a real mandate to put the bill in action. Then we need to have that bill on the President's desk so we can start seeing significant and aggressive action on climate change as soon as he or she takes office. We don't have any more time to waste.

We all need to wake up everyday and ask ourselves what are we doing to address global warming? Have you written your congressman? Have you submitted a letter to the editor? Have you made your home more energy efficient? After all, this world is the only home we have.

x-posted @ PacificViews

Mary :: 2:41 PM :: Comments (1) :: Digg It!