The Repower America campaign is in the midst of "Declare Your Energy Independence!" week. As we celebrate Fourth of July weekend, Americans from all walks of life can declare their energy independence to move our country forward with millions of clean energy jobs, end our reliance on foreign oil and solve the climate crisis.
I was so pleased to see a majority of the House of Representatives, Republicans and Democrats, vote to pass the American Clean Energy and Security (ACES) Act. The Republican leadership and some on the right have promised "dire consequences" for those who helped to pass this bill, but Michael Gerson, former speechwriter to President George W. Bush, in an op ed in the Washington Post said, "And for the eight House Republicans who took this stand at great political risk, it is not only legitimate – it is admirable." I agree.
I'm often asked about my favorite blogs, and one of them is realclimate.org. Created by scientists for the public, they post updates about science, policy and breaking news. Gavin Schmidt, one of the bloggers there, has recently come out with a book entitled, "Climate Change: Picturing the Science," which is a great read and also has great pictures.
I am in Australia to train 350people on my slide show. Participants in the training have come from throughout the Asia-Pacific region. The Climate Project (TCP) began in June 2006 as an effort to train 1,000 Americans about the climate crisis and what we can do to solve it. The first class of fifty presenters was trained in Nashville, TN, which is now the home of TCP’s international headquarters. Since then, TCP has established international branches in Australia, Canada, India, Spain, and the United Kingdom. And it also has an official presence in Mexico, Israel, Italy, Turkey, Indonesia and Singapore. I will also soon begin training sessions in China. TCP also works with a group called “Inconvenient Youth,” a network of teens committed to educating their peers and developing activities to engage young people.
TCP’s 2,600 presenters have reached a worldwide audience of more than 2 million people from all walks of life. You can learn more about their efforts at http://www.theclimateproject.org.
I just completed the training program in Australia and it was so inspiring. I have now personally trained nearly 3,000 people around the world on my slideshow and each one of them brings something to the process. It was a great experience.
Before returning to the United States, I joined 1,000 activists, business leaders and scientists to launch an exciting new organization.
Safe Climate Australia “aims to mobilize Australia’s extensive technological, economic and political expertise and resources in planning the transition of the Australian economy to zero net carbon, the sequestering of dangerous levels of existing carbon from the atmosphere, and in assisting the building of a global consensus for restoring a safe climate.”
The world is uniting to take action to solve the climate crisis. That’s why if you haven’t yet, it is so important you join the Alliance for Climate Protection today by clicking here.
I wanted to make sure you saw Ed Markey's great post at TheDailyBeast.com. In the article he lists the American Clean Energy and Security Act’s top ten policies:
"Invest in Clean Energy: Invests $190 billion into clean energy like wind, solar, geothermal and advanced coal technology. Waxman-Markey establishes eight Clean Energy Innovation Hubs across the country, linking our top academic institutions with clean tech businesses to get technologies from the lab to the marketplace."
"Cuts Foreign Oil: Invests $20 billion in advanced fuel-efficient vehicles like plug-in hybrids and all-electric cars and trucks, so that the next generation of drivers may never use a gas pump. When the bill is combined with fuel economy and renewable fuel standards already put in place, America will save more than 5 million barrels of oil a day, more than we already import from the Middle East and Venezuela combined."
"Reduces Carbon Pollution: For the first time, puts a cap on the carbon pollution causing global warming--reducing carbon and other heat-trapping pollutants 83 percent by 2050. The program makes polluters pay, driving down emissions over time by about 2 percent a year. American leadership on global warming will pave the way for an international deal that gets all polluters on board."
"Creates Jobs, Trains Workers: Will create millions of new clean energy jobs that can't be sent overseas to China and India, and provides $865 million in job training assistance for America's new clean energy workers."
"Builds a Smarter Grid: Encourages a Smart Grid that uses E-Chips--electricity computer chips--and other technologies in appliances, homes and businesses that will empower consumers to save money and energy using Internet and other telecommunications technologies."
"Efficiency Savings: Saves consumers $69 billion annually by 2030 by making our buildings, homes, appliances, and lights use less energy. New buildings and homes will be 50 percent more efficient by 2016, and old buildings will be retrofitted with energy-saving technology. Efficiency provisions in Waxman-Markey will avoid the need to build more than 150 large power plants."
"Saves Families Money: Provides hundreds of dollars in energy rebates annually to low-income families and helps all families reduce their electricity bills. Cumulative energy cost-savings would total more than $4,000 per household by 2030."
"Price Spike Protection: Over 50 percent of the program is dedicated to protecting consumers from the price spikes typical of the old energy economy. It dedicates 30 percent of the program to protect families and businesses from rate spikes on their electricity bills. W-M dedicates 15 percent of the program to protect low-income families from price increases, providing hundreds of dollars in energy rebates annually to low-income families."
"Funds New Technologies: Establishes a "Clean Energy Bank" to leverage $75 billion in loans to fund established clean energy technologies like wind and solar, and to breakthrough technologies that have yet to be invented."
"Fiscally Responsible: The Congressional Budget Office found Waxman-Markey will not raise the federal budget deficit."
Soon the Senate will take up this critical piece of legislation. It is vital we all take action to make sure it passes and becomes law.
Last week I read article in New Scientist that began with an interesting anecdote I wanted to share with you:
"Picture the scene: in downtown New York City, all-electric cars glide through streets in a zero-emission transport revolution. Polluting, inefficient gasoline and diesel vehicles are nowhere to be seen - or heard. The only things getting in the way of these smooth, noiseless vehicles are the horse-drawn trams."
"That's right, we're talking about the past. The electric car had its heyday over a century ago. Its brief reign came to an end in 1912, when gasoline-powered Cadillacs began to come fitted with starter motors."
The article goes on to describe the history and challenges surrounding the development of new battery technologies. It provides an extremely interesting window into what is possible in the future.
Become a fan of Repower America on today by clicking here.
"When Richard Nixon visited China in 1972, the distance travelled seemed greater than the 7,000 miles from Washington to Beijing. He was bridging the gap between two worlds that had been sealed off from one another for an entire generation."
"When China's leaders land in Washington on Monday for the US-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue, they will arrive as well-known colleagues on a well-travelled route. But while the gulf between the two nations may have narrowed, the challenges before us have only grown."
"Back then, a handshake between Nixon and Chinese premier Zhou Enlai was enough to change the world. Today, the world's biggest greenhouse gas emitter and history's biggest emitter, China and America, must change the world again - and nothing less than a transformation of the energy economy will suffice."
"The question is can we forge a partnership bold enough to prevent a climate catastrophe? With December's make-or-break climate talks in Copenhagen looming, the US-China negotiations are an important test. Because other countries will take their cues from us, a successful global climate deal will depend on America and China signaling our seriousness now."
Our seriousness will be judged by the Senate’s action on the climate bill. This is a moment where America cannot follow, instead we must lead.