October 2010

Good and Bad News October 3, 2010 : 5:57 PM

The good news:

"Installed power capacity from wind turbines around the world will probably rival the potential generation of electricity from nuclear plants within four years, the Global Wind Energy Council said."

The bad news:

"Growth of wind power in China and elsewhere is offsetting a decline in the U.S. and is little changed in Europe this year, GWEC said."


I need your help October 12, 2010 : 5:10 PM

This past August, when I got on the phone with Repower America members, one thing was clear: We have a great deal of work to do.

We've accomplished so much this year. We've fought off all attempts to gut the Clean Air Act, and I am so proud of the work we've done. But in a year of record temperatures and catastrophic environmental disasters, both you and I know what comes next. We have to roll up our sleeves and continue this fight, with more commitment than ever before.

The attacks on the Clean Air Act aren't over and the oil lobby's reach is spreading. As we speak, Texas oil companies are waging a war against clean energy in California. Paid for by the same corporate polluters who funded the climate denial movement, industry giants like Valero, Tesoro and the Koch brothers are working to overturn California's clean energy law with a ballot initiative called Proposition 23.

I am going to do everything I can to fight to keep our nation on the path to a future with clean energy jobs and safe air to breathe. That's why protecting critical federal laws like the Clean Air Act and state climate change laws are top priorities for me.

The climate crisis isn't going away, and neither can we. Contribute $5 today to help us continue our fight.

America's clean energy future is at stake. The consequences of doing nothing and losing this fight are clear. We all watched in horror as the worst environmental disaster in American history devastated the Gulf Coast this year. Our continued reliance on oil and dirty fossil fuels means we can expect more of the same.

That's why Repower America has put experienced organizers on the ground, including in California to fight Proposition 23. We'll continue to fight just as long we care about our country, our globe and the natural inheritance we want to leave our children.

You and I both know now is the time to redouble our efforts. Every time the oil industry tries to pollute our air and water, we want to be there to stop them: whether it's in California, in the U.S. Senate or in your hometown. But we can't do it without your help. We're standing on the precipice of a cleaner, brighter future for our families and we can't turn back now.

Can you donate $5 today to help our movement?

No matter what, I'm proud to stand next to you in this fight.

Thanks for everything you do.


Solar at the White House October 13, 2010 : 2:21 PM

Congratulations to Bill McKibben, who succeeded in his campaign to install Solar Panels at the White House. Secretary of Energy Steven Chu writes:

“Today, we're taking an important next step. As we move toward a clean energy economy, the White House will lead by example. I'm pleased to announce that, by the end of this spring, there will be solar panels and a solar hot water heater on the roof of the White House.”

“These two solar installations will be part of a Department of Energy demonstration project. The project will show that American solar technology is available, reliable, and ready to install in homes throughout the country.”

In addition Bill wrote at Huffington Post:

“Today's announcement that the Obama’s will be taking their showers and cooking their breakfast courtesy of the sun could not have come at a better moment. We're four days away from the start of the weekend's giant Global Work Party, and this is the perfect example of everything that we've been talking about for almost a year: it demonstrates the power of individual actions to carry political impact.”


The First Carbon Neutral State October 14, 2010 : 5:31 PM

That is what the Vatican would like to become:

“The Holy See has embarked on a new mission: the fight against climate change. In 2007, Pope Benedict XVI announced that Vatican City would strive to become the first carbon-neutral state. Although the Vatican’s plan to purchase carbon offset credits fell through, the sovereign city-state has harnessed the power of the sun with solar panels and a solar generator, and has also made progress with energy conservation efforts. Pope Benedict has added a religious element to the climate change debate by framing the issue as a moral imperative.”


Congratulations 10/10/10 Organizers October 15, 2010 : 4:56 PM

For the second time this week I want to congratulate my friend Bill McKibben for organizing 10/10/10 Global Work Party. More than 7,000 events took place in 188 countries.

“People greeted the sunrise in New Zealand, raced to clean up trash in Beijing, planted thousands of mangroves in the Philippines, installed solar panels in South Africa and Namibia, marched by the thousands in Istanbul, and more.”

View pictures from around the world by clicking here.


Businesses Must Lead the Way October 17, 2010 : 9:39 PM

Last week I addressed the World Business Forum in New York. I told the audience that they “need to take the time to learn about climate change and make a commitment to be part of the solution.”

Furthermore business executives should advocate climate reform. “For you as business leaders, it’s important to change the light bulbs, but it’s way more important to change the laws.”


The Truth About Prop 23 October 19, 2010 : 3:32 PM

Repower America has prepared a helpful factsheet debunking myths about Prop. 23:

“Myth: Proposition 23 is the “California Jobs Initiative” and will help with the state’s unemployment.”

“The Facts: Passing Proposition 23 could slow job growth in California. The state’s renewable energy mandate, along with major investments in solar power, could create tens of thousands of jobs per year — jobs that would not be created if Prop. 23 passes. [1] If Proposition 23 is passed, clean energy companies might move out of the country, taking jobs with them. As of 2007, the state had over 10,000 businesses in the clean energy sector supporting more than 125,000 clean energy jobs. [2] Voting “no” on Prop. 23 will help keep those numbers on the rise.”

“Myth: Proposition 23 will help California’s economy and save consumers money.”

“The Facts: Big oil companies only care about their own bottom lines, and their bottom lines are tied to our addiction to dirty fossil fuels. Keeping clean energy in California will be good for both our wallets and our environment. We’ll develop renewable energy here at home instead of buying oil from abroad. And we’ll protect consumers from spikes in the price of fossil fuels.”

Read the entire factcheck by clicking here.


Vote No on Proposition 23 October 20, 2010 : 1:55 PM

See the Prop 23 Resource Page


Climate Deniers Funded by the Dirty Energy Industry October 22, 2010 : 10:40 AM

This is not a surprise:

“Pennsylvania Senate candidate Pat Toomey drew headlines when he said in a local radio interview on Friday, that the degree to which human activity is to blame for global warming is being "very much disputed" and "debated."

“It's not the first time he's made the argument.”

"There is much debate in the scientific community as to the precise sources of global warming," Toomey claimed in June.”

“Trolling Opensecrets.org, HuffPost found Toomey's top contributors include oil and coal giants Koch Industries ($15,000) and Murray Energy ($16,655). Those are the top two contributors of climate change skeptic Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) who received $45,500 and $30,600 from those companies respectively.”


A Climate Supercomputer Center October 23, 2010 : 7:03 PM

The data produced by this center will be incredibly important:

“The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has launched a new $27.6 million “supercomputer center” in West Virginia aimed at developing and improving the accuracy of global and regional climate and weather predictions.”

“The additional computing power at the new center allows NOAA to strengthen its ability to provide the right information at the right time for people to make decisions at all levels, NOAA Administrator Jane Lubchenco said. “This capacity is part of a suite of climate services NOAA is developing that will help individuals, communities and businesses to make informed decisions in a changing climate.”


Good News This Week October 25, 2010 : 11:48 AM

More needs to be done, but this is excellent news:

“The Obama administration will propose the first-ever greenhouse gas emission limits for heavy trucks and buses next week.”

“The proposal will call for a 20 percent reduction in heat-trapping emissions from trucks' tailpipes, according to Dan Becker, director of the Safe Climate Campaign.”

“The joint rule from the Environmental Protection Agency and the Transportation Department is the latest in a series aimed at boosting fuel economy and slashing greenhouse gas emissions from cars and trucks.”


Facts Should Matter - Not Ideology October 26, 2010 : 4:57 PM

The New York Times reports:

“Skepticism and outright denial of global warming are among the articles of faith of the Tea Party movement, here in Indiana and across the country. For some, it is a matter of religious conviction; for others, it is driven by distrust of those they call the elites. And for others still, efforts to address climate change are seen as a conspiracy to impose world government and a sweeping redistribution of wealth.”

Unfortunately the Tea Party movement seems to want to make belief in science a political football. Additionally:

“New York Times/CBS News Poll conducted this month. The survey found that only 14 percent of Tea Party supporters said that global warming is an environmental problem that is having an effect now, while 49 percent of the rest of the public believes that it is. More than half of Tea Party supporters said that global warming would have no serious effect at any time in the future, while only 15 percent of other Americans share that view, the poll found.”

“And 8 percent of Tea Party adherents volunteered that they did not believe global warming exists at all, while only 1 percent of other respondents agreed.”

It’s not a surprise that the groups supporting the Tea Party are funded by the fossil fuel industry:

“Groups that help support Tea Party candidates include climate change skepticism in their core message. Americans for Prosperity, a group founded and largely financed by oil industry interests, has sponsored what it calls a Regulation Reality Tour to stir up opposition to climate change legislation and federal regulation of carbon emissions. Its Tea Party talking points describe a cap-and-trade system to reduce carbon emissions as “the largest excise tax in history.”

“FreedomWorks, another group supported by the oil industry, helps organize Tea Party rallies and distributes fliers urging opposition to federal climate policy, which it calls a “power grab.”


More Impact October 29, 2010 : 12:00 PM

Coral Reefs around continue to be bleached by warming oceans:

“What we've seen there is a bleaching event that was caused by hot water, back in May, and what we've documented is about 80 per cent of the Acropora which is typically the most predominant coral species - staghorn corals - about 80 per cent of those colonies are dead.”

“There's a cyclic event in the Indian Ocean called the Indian Ocean Dipole, which is similar to El Nino events, and warm water pools in the west of the Indian Ocean. So this is a natural cyclic event but almost certainly, you know, human induced climate change is increasing the intensity of that event.”