Happy New Year, Earth
The year 2008 will be "crunch time" for the earth's healthier environment. In small ways a few people people took a bit of climate control away from the Bush administration in recent months. Such news serves to wish a "Good 2008 to the Earth," if this trend continues. (Images from NASA)Credit goes to these folks:
Al Gore -- Despite the fact that our current president (OCP) stole the 2000 election from Al Gore, our former Vice President stole the 2007 spotlight from OCP, winning the Nobel Peace Prize winner for his work to save the environment from the effects of potentially catastrophic climate change. Ellen Goodman wrote a great Gore tribute piece on Friday, December 28, 2007 that was published in the Boston Globe, and republished in Common Dreams titled, "War and Peace with the Environment." To quote:
Since this is the list-making time of year, allow me to add a tiny trophy to Al Gore’s very full shelf: the prize for the most elegant speech of 2007.
I wasn’t sure how the politician-turned-environmentalist fit the profile for a Nobel Peace Prize, but his acceptance speech connected the dots. “Without realizing it,” Gore said, “we have begun to wage war on the Earth itself. Now, we and the Earth’s climate are locked in a relationship familiar to war planners: mutually assured destruction.”
How many Americans actually heard these words of war and peace? The coverage from Oslo was overshadowed by the coverage from Iowa. The presidential campaigns used up the oxygen that might have been reserved for the greenhouse gases.
. . . In 2007, consciousness rose with the thermostat. Scientists layered one set of facts on another. Gore wrapped these facts into an attention-grabbing movie. After Bali, the world’s leaders are just waiting for this presidency to pass. But we are still waiting for the renewable energy to fuel election-year politics.
On the day Gore spoke to the Nobel audience, he said, “we dumped another 70 million tons of global-warming pollution into the thin shell of atmosphere surrounding our planet, as if it were an open sewer . . . We are what is wrong, and we must make it right.”
I still have a stack of greeting cards wishing Peace on Earth. Is it too corny to wish that we begin the new year making Peace with the Earth?
Congress -- Find the names of your House members who voted for the new Energy bill. Here are the vote results in the U.S. House of Representatives on December 18, 2007, for the Energy Independence and Security Act: 314 yeas, 100 nays and 19 not voting.
Delegates to Climate Talks in Bali -- A Guardian Unlimited (12/15/07) article about the recent Bali Climate Conference is a good summary of the "u-turn" the United States delegation was practically forced to make after being openly booed by the rest of the delegates. To quote:
A compromise deal for a new international climate change agenda was agreed at the UN summit in Bali today. . . Ministers from around 180 countries were united in accepting the agenda for a global emissions cuts agreement to launch negotiations for a post-2012 agreement to tackle climate change.
Consensus for the road map followed a dramatic U-turn by the US, which had threatened to block the deal at the 11th hour and been booed by other countries. It dropped its opposition to poorer countries' calls for technological and financial help to combat the issue. The sudden reversal by the US in the marathon talks which saw the country duelling with European envoys was met with rousing applause.
Scientists who find out what is true and talk about it -- In researching this post for today I discovered several interesting on line environmental resources:
One of the most interesting is "Geology.com," a must for anyone the least bit interested in the earth sciences. Geology.com introduced me to the great newsmaker website: "Carbon Tracker," unveiled in September by the Earth System Research Laboratory at NOAA. Their state map collection is another rich visual resource. It has a link to Google Earth, which I just downloaded today from Google Pack. Also included is a lot of good info regarding lands below sea level, and a link to Time Magazine's "Top Ten Scientific Discoveries of 2007."