Posted by: Michael D. Austin | February 21, 2010

Are We “Off the Hook” After Copenhagen?

No. We’re not off the hook for our carbon or other environmental footprints after Copenhagen. No one has come to the rescue, saving us from ourselves. We still need to keep our shoulders in the harness and get the job done. It’s good that President Obama came to the table during Copenhagen’s final hours, but this is just the beginning of our work. And it is our work, not his, because we elected him and he’ll listen to what we ask. In Congress right now are discussions about legislation the U.S. will enact to help curb global warming.

Craig Shields of 2GreenEnergy

For those of you who remember the interview with Tom Lovejoy from last year, we asked him what the single most important thing one could do about climate change and global warming. He answered that we could curtail our energy use and thus impact our carbon footprint in the most effective fashion. So on Monday, February 22nd’s Blue Planet Almanac, we’ll discuss broad energy and climate footprints – and what you can do about yours – with the perspective of two very experienced experts.

So you can have a perspective on what’s happening in each field from his view of renewable energy “from 50,000 feet,” we’ll rely upon the articulate, self-avowed pragmatist Craig Shields of 2GreenEnergy.com. Craig founded this consultancy for energy business investing and the excellent thing about Craig’s advice is it’s his business to know where people are investing – where they’re putting their money where their mouth is. And, of course, if people are investing in a given area it means they believe it shows great promise or proven returns. My other favorite thing about Craig’s opinion is that he believes politics and political arenas are the place where the U.S. could stand or fall by its climate action.

Craig and his company keep an excellent blog about energy resources. Here’s an enlightening example from 1-31-10 where he shows he prefers not to pull his punches, “All I’m asking is that *we the people* put pressure on our elected officials.  Force them to create legislation that levels of playing field on which renewables compete against fossil fuels. As I’m fond of saying, take away the subsidies and get everyone to pay to true and full costs of the energy we produce and consume – and see how long coal and oil last as industries. They’ll be gone in an afternoon.”

He’s also penning the finishing touches on a book about renewables, which promises to be fascinating and for which he has done long research, interviewing many people. Go there are read his material because I find him to be thoughtful, passionate and capable of instantly assessing whether an energy policy is cooked through, and whether it’s more “sizzle” or more “steak.”

Bob Deans, Federal Communications Director at NRDC

And for our insider’s view of what’s happening or not with daily climate change policy in Washington, we’ll have the opportunity to hear what Bob Deans of Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) sees from his first-hand experience over recent years. Founded in 1970, NRDC is one of toughest, most battle-seasoned NGOs on Earth. NRDC features a tripartite approach to environmental salvation which employs seasoned attorneys, scientists and policy activists winning their way through United States courts in their pursuit of environmental sanity.

In his heart, I suspect Bob’s an environmental patriot. From his bio he recounts that he, “spent nearly 30 years as a newspaper reporter. That included a four-year stint as the chief Asia correspondent, based in Tokyo, for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and other Cox newspapers, and eight years covering the (Bush) White House. I’m a former president of the White House Correspondents’ Association and author of the 2007 book, ‘The River Where America Began: A Journey Along the James.”

Bob is currently NRDC’s Director of Federal Communications. In his role with NRDC, he attended Cop15 in Copenhagen, part of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, which was our world’s most recent attempt to sit together and hash out environmental policies which would lead to positive climate policies. Among his activities, Bob also maintains an excellent and interesting blog at NRDC’s Switchboard.

And if you’re a reader, his name should sound a little more than familiar because Bob helped NRDC president Frances Beineke pen the book, “Clean Energy Common Sense: An American Call to Action on Global Climate Change.” If all that’s not enough to move you to read the book, bear in mind that Robert Redford wouldn’t preface just anyone’s book. Redford and Beineke are people you want on your team.

"Clean Energy Common Sense" by Frances Beineke with Bob Deans

Bob’s blog at NRDC’s Switchboard shows his job covers everything Federal imaginable and then some. Take, for instance, this especially intriguing section from his 2-1-10 entry about the Pentagon and environmental policy, “Climate change, in fact, ‘may act as an accelerant of instability or conflict, placing a burden to respond on civilian institutions and militaries around the world.’ That’s the conclusion laid out in the Quadrennial Defense Review, or QDR, the Defense Department released on Monday.” Let that soak in for a moment or two. The Pentagon is interested in environmental policy because it might affect national security? Yes.

About Obama, Bob wrote in his January 28th entry, “President Obama has laid to rest any doubt about his determination to push for comprehensive clean energy and climate legislation, placing it near the center of his jobs agenda and casting it as essential to American competitiveness. ‘The nation that leads the clean-energy economy will be the nation that leads the global economy,’ Obama said in his State of the Union address Wednesday. ‘And America must be that nation.”

So, listeners, would you like hearing the especially crunchy, worthwhile and experienced opinions of these two policy and action experts? Then tune in at 8:00 AM Pacific to HealthyLife.net, click Listen Live, and let your mind absorb what can be done.

Blue Planet Almanac radio airs live with host Mike Austin on HealthyLife.net on the 4th Monday of each month at 8:00 A.M. Pacific Time. Blue Planet Almanac is also re-broadcast later in the week and shows are archived three days after airtime at that same site, with some available through this link. HealthyLife.net is an all-positive talk station and has over 3 million listeners monthly in 104 countries and all 50 United States.

Blue Planet Almanac offers thoughtful perspectives on conscious, green living on Earth. With fascinating interviews, breaking news and product reviews, caller participation about Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability are encouraged, including science and policy of importance to Earthlings. Listeners can have their say in an environment that matters or simply listen to leaders in their field. Join us!


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