by Marion Marks
[learn more from my borrowed facts/text here]
Today in Baton Rouge the legislature will spend another segment of time essentially debating how many angels sit on the head of a pin. Our representatives suffer from lack of leadership from the governor’s office, as Jindal wastes resources jockeying for a seat at the national table, where he lacks any proven record of success as our state leader. Earth Day is really just another page on the calendar to say a few special words that will fall on mostly deaf ears.
Yet, 1 billion people world-wide still live on less than $1.25 per day and those most affected by climate change are low-income or marginalized populations. These trends will only get worse if we don’t stop misusing the planet. Moving towards a 100% renewable world is possible, but only in a world where all countries commit to a low carbon future. We have the technology. Now we need the political will to begin this change.
Over the past 20 years, there have been a series of failed attempts to create an effective international treaty to mitigate climate change. In 1997, the UN passed the Kyoto Protocol, the first major international agreement. Unfortunately, the US—one of the world’s top polluters—failed to ratify the treaty. Since then, the countless efforts to come to an agreement—Rio, Copenhagen— have all ended in failure. It’s an ideal, true, but we have to quit paying lip service while we slip into the chasm.
The next summit-COP21 in Paris- is scheduled later this year; and this time we cannot fail. We need a universal climate agreement that limits global warming to 2°C. We must come together to demand climate action from our leaders!
Why 2°C? There is consensus within the scientific community that greenhouse gases emissions that increase global temperatures beyond 2°C will irreversibly alter climatic regions all over the world, making fierce natural weather phenomena a daily occurrence. Let’s make 2015 the year we reverse this trend, and call on civic leaders to commit to powering our cities with 100% renewable technology.
Moving to renewable energy has the potential to be cost-effective and transform the way we interact with our environment. Divestment from fossil fuels, green buildings, and sustainable cities must drive this change.
We have to start from the bottom up– show our representatives that we will lead where they cannot. This starts NOW, and it is our responsibility to make a difference. Learn a little something about our sustainable planet before it’s too late.