Now With an alarmingly warming up planet, we need to hustle and create the means of change and adaptation for our very survival as a species. Yes it is a physical and an Earth Science problem, but ultimately it’s a social problem and can be solved as such.
It’s got to do with our choices as a people. Our unsustainable energy use and our burning up of fossil fuels are polluting Earth’s atmosphere with Carbon and creating the Greenhouse effect that warms up our planet and screws up our climate — in turn creating catastrophic storms and chaotic weather.
To that end the Environmental Parliament and yours truly created the famed “10-10-10” campaign in London and across the UK that became the most significant Climate Change Policy ever. Ever till now. We aimed to reduce the Carbon emissions of the nation by 10%, get 10% of all of our energy usage from renewable energy sources and do all this by the end of the year 2010. Great things happened because “10-10-10” or better known as the “10:10” became a grass roots campaign with scores of activists and public figures along with almost all the politicians, schools and leading figures of England signing up for it. From the great and the small all happened upon it. Most members of the Parliament Houses of Westminster – both Houses of Lords & Commons – signed and so did the prince of Wales as well as the peace activist camped across from the House of Parliament in his tent since the beginning of the first war in Iraq. From the diplomats and the beggars of Belgravia to the BBC magnates and the Harry Potter actors and author – all signed. And this is how it was started… The Environmental Parliament’s innovation of the “10-10” policy campaign captured the public’s imagination.
Then we thought hard and felt that we need to graduate to bigger and better things. And that’s how the “20-20-20” Energy Policy for Europe campaign came about. In an effort to create agreement in order to reduce by 20% all of our Carbon emissions, and get 20% of our energy from renewable energy sources, and to do all this by the end of year 2020. No small feat. Yet a gradual enough goal so as not to be considered revolutionary — but rather an evolutionary process.
And this 20-20-20 or alternatively called 20:20 vision policy, is so well received because it seems far away in time and both government & industry believe they could adopt by then too. Yet it takes real work and actual change in order to reach these seemingly minimal targets. It takes also major shifts in the course of the ship of state and these results ain’t easy. Yet it became such a clear and publicly acclaimed common sense balanced energy & environment policy initiative, that it soon became the darling in Brussels too. And today a few short years later, it becomes the cornerstone of the European Union’s Commonwealth Energy policy. Not bad for such humble beginnings and little expectations.
Today, the vision of the Environmental parliament Policy Initiative commonly called “20:20” has become a major keystone of Europe’s Energy Policy. It is the cornerstone “20-20-20” Energy and Environmental balance Policy. And it is the Future Energy doctrine for the whole of the European Union and the Common Market too. And today, it is the Federal Energy Policy of Europe with a German Energy Czar — chosen on behalf of the whole of Europe — and tasked with it’s enforcement. That is a first for any nation or even a Union of federated states across this Earth and a first for the wide adoption of the Environmental Parliament’s Public Policy Advocacy.
Well Done Europe.
Methinks “20-20-20” ROCKS…
And now it’s time to go trans-Atlantic.
We will bring it to the United States, and we will brand this policy in America as “20:20 Vision” for America from the Environmental Parliament. We will unveil this at the United Nations HQs during the annual opening week this September in New York City where we have our Green Bonds Summit within the UN on Saturday the 22nd of September 2012.
And to understand the value of 20:20 we need to measure it’s impact in economic terms also. Because when all is said and done, “20-20-20” kickstarted the European Green Economy too. Because our innovative “20:20” or “20-20-20” has given us thousands of green jobs and also created many diverse & specialized industrial employment opportunities across the European continent and in the UK. Look at Scotland’s industrial renaissance based on marine and wind energy production. Further the 20:20 vision and the commonly referred as “20-20-20” policy also pushed the renewable energy industry along the front lines within the leading industrial sectors of Germany, Netherlands, Denmark, Norway and Sweden and all of the European countries in varying degrees. It pushed all, out of the relative doldrums of recession and gave us much needed optimism for the future.
The Vision of 20:20 in doing well by doing good has never been stronger than now.
And now is high time for the US and China to adopt the same simple “20:20 Vision” Policy and Development commitment “20-20-20” represents. The Environmental Parliament is committing all it’s effort and resources to accomplish just that, and we need your help. We need friends in low and high places and especially community activists. YOU. We simply want you to lend a hand and organize a grass roots campaign and a Town Hall meeting and we will send a speaker to your neighborhood to manage the effort and help with community organizing and lobbying the local governments to start the “20-20-20”
Because we need to start from the countryside to take over Washington as the old founding father George Washington wisely said… such a long time ago. Make no mistake — Solving this Climate change problem is a battle. ANd we seek nothing less than victory.
And old lady Victory comes to those who work for it. And since we’ve already seen that “20-20-20” is a simple Policy solution that works for Europe — we can easily get this 20-20-20 Energy policy implemented in the United States too. Because it can be seen as a logical bipartisan effort towards a policy that will pay for itself with increased tax rolls and employment as well as carbon mitigation and thus gain widespread industry support. Same for the COP and the Democrats. This issue and the solutions to the problem as solved with the 20-20-20 Energy policy is not a divisive but rather a massively Bipartisan affair.
Same as it should be in China across the vast Pacific ocean. Especially now that China is so dirty and climate change challenged. Still it bested the United States in absolute numbers and total amounts of investments in the Green Economy and renewable energy sector. They surely need a National “20-20-20” Policy to tie it all up and provide the vision to succeed.
That’s how we can solve this giant problem we are faced with. We can solve Climate Change with Real Simple & Smart Policy deployment. Like our beloved “20-20-20”
Yet we need real leaders and clear Policy leadership in order to solve Climate Change across this land and across the whole world.
And so I step up because the Environmental Parliament has the Policy solutions and the requisite leadership. And because America with President Obama has promised to tackle Climate Change. Not only because the current heat wave has finally woken people up, but because the freak storms that kill people have made it impossible to ignore the facts.
Because the climate crisis is arguably the most significant threat to life on earth. And Americans need the “Pearl harbour moment” in order to be motivated to act..
And because teaching and creating leadership policy against Fossil Fuels and Nuclear energy [another deadly fossil fuel] is the one key aspect of this great push forward in our civilization. Especially since our current fossil fuel Energy consumption causes most of the warming planet problems to begin with.
It is time for a new Civil Rights movement, because the right to emancipate ourselves from Climate slavery to the fossil fuel companies is now more urgent, than ever.
For those of us who feel human and who take climate science seriously, I think that we’re left with an inescapable conclusion: It’s not enough to oppose fossil fuels.
We have to teach against fossil fuels — coal and oil in particular.
Because the threat posed by fossil fuel consumption to humanity and the future of all life on earth is profound and our responsibility inescapable.
Coal, oil, gas and nuclear can never be green, no matter what amount of greenwashing goes into it.
To speak from the heart and illustrate the criminal full-speed-ahead approach of the fossil fuel industry, in the Pacific Northwest – home of my heart – coal companies are pushing plans to export between 150 and 170 million tons of coal a year from the Powder River Basin in Wyoming and Montana through six different Oregon and Washington ports to Asia.
According to a new report from the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis, the US Bureau of Land Management’s non-competitive “coal auctions” where a single bidder takes all, have cost taxpayers “as much as $28.9 billion over the past 30 years.”
And in this case it has to do with the Powder River basin – public lands coal mining area – given to Peabody Coal Company for nothing.
The larger problem is that the US Bureau of Land Management, is supposed to manage public lands in the best interests of the public, not coal companies, and it’s hard to argue that accelerating climate change by sending cheap coal overseas to be burned in China and pollute the atmosphere of the whole world, is in America’s best interests.
Here are the facts:
The Center for American Progress (CAP) has a must-read report out on this today called “Using Public Lands for the Public Good.” It finds that, of the electricity generated by land and resources in the public estate, some 66 percent comes from coal. Coal, they say, “is the de facto priority for the use of the federal estate when it comes to power generation.” Just 1 percent of public land is used for wind and solar. What’s worse, projecting out 20 years shows no major change in the situation. (Coal goes down to about 57 percent.)
That does not comport with President Obama’s much-ballyhooed vision of a clean energy future.
Nor, given what we know about coal’s health and environmental impacts, does it comport with good sense or with the national interest. Certainly it doesn’t comport with your interests…
It only jives with the short term interests of the Coal companies that mine, export and burn this coal to produce the dirtiest energy you can find…
Here are CAP’s primary policy recommendation that the Environmental Parliament finds itself in total agreement with:
1) “We need to establish a “clean resources standard,” or CRS, for all public lands and waters, to be implemented by executive order. This would require land management agencies to delineate what portion of publicly owned natural resources used for electricity generation will be clean and renewable — from wind, solar, geothermal, biomass, and small hydro-electricity. We recommend the entirely achievable target of 35 percent renewable electricity from public lands and waters by 2035.
2) Put a carbon price on coal mined on public lands
3) Reform the leasing process for coal mined on public lands to achieve fair-market value.
4) Establish renewable energy zones on public lands and waters.
5) Include public lands and waters in the executive order on sustainability to better track the government’s carbon pollution.
6) Ensure that all federal environmental analyses include scientific carbon pollution studies
We need to do this because when it comes to the federal government’s relationship with energy, a lot of attention gets focused on loan guarantee programs and tax credits and the like. But it’s time we connect to the fact that the federal government bureaucrats — that is to say, we, collectively — own the majority of land and resources, which can be used for clean energy production.
Among other things, this land “WE” own currently provides 43.2 percent of the nation’s coal. Not only do we offer this coal up, but we practically beg coal companies to mine it, offering them “billions of dollars in taxpayer subsidies via preferential tax treatments such as the ability to expense exploration and development costs, tax deductions to cover the costs of investments in mines, and favorable capital gains treatment on royalties.”
Why are we doing this still today? After all we now have the science to link Climate Change to the Fossil Fuels burning for Energy nasty habits we have. We know more than we used to, about the damage done by coal mining and combustion. We know more than we used to about the dangers of climate change. There’s no excuse any more for us to allow our common heritage to be used in a way that hurts Americans, the planet, and future generations. Mining public lands for coal and using public lands to transport and get to the port in order to burn this coal and further pollute the atmosphere isn’t smart and certainly its not in the public interest… And the government has got to know this.
Put aside for a moment the horrible toll that coal mining takes on the land and water and people in Montana and Wyoming.
Put aside the coal dust pollution that destroys lungs and kills people.
Put aside the violation of Native fishing rights along the Columbia River, where all the coal would travel by train and barge.
Put aside the noise pollution and disruption from as many as 60 mile-long, diesel exhaust-spewing trains a day.
And instead think only about the climate implications of the hundreds of millions of tons of coal that will be burned if these export routes are opened—a yearly figure, by my calculations, of between 240 and 270 million tons of carbon dioxide pumped into the atmosphere. That’s the equivalent of 65 coal-fired power plants and they will be running full tilt for the next fifty to a hundred years ruining our lives. That’s what’s at stake here…
Because even though in the Pacific Northwest, we’ve been spared most of the brutal weather experienced in the rest of the country, throughout the United States, in the month of June alone, 3,200 daytime high temperature records were broken or tied. In Washington, D.C., an 11-day stretch of temperatures above 95 degrees is the longest since records have been kept. The weird and deadly mid-Atlantic storm—the “land hurricane”—took the lives of 23 people and left 4 million without electricity. Colorado has suffered through the worst forest fires in the state’s history. And the fire still burning in southeastern Oregon is the biggest one the state has seen in 150 years.
As climate scientists will tell you, there is no way to link any single weather event to global warming. But as Jeff Masters, director of meteorology at the Weather Site said recently: “What we’re seeing now is the future. We’re going to be seeing a lot more weather like this, a lot more impacts like we’re seeing from this series of heat waves, fires, and storms. . . . This is just the beginning.”
What’s our response?
Organizing massive Demos such as the one bellow in Tokyo, is work the Environmental Parliament thrives on and yet we need to remind ourselves each and every day to create common sense bipartisan Public Policy as our highest calling.
Demonstrations such as this one in Tokyo, call attention to the problem and provide public pressure on governments. But unless the governments have the right policy at hand to implement, usually they will be reactive and moribund to change.
Just look at the divergent paths Germany and Japan are taking for their Energy future and independence from nuclear energy…
Here are hundreds of thousands of Japanese citizen who held a protest yesterday, on July 16th, urging their government to abandon nuclear power altogether.
Renewable Clean and Sustainable Energy from the Sun, from the Sea waves, from the Earth’s thermal sources, and from the Wind is the way to go/
The only way forward.
Who is listening ?
One aspect of our common goal is to establish international Environmental Policy that matters both on the local as well as on the global landscape and ecosystems.
Because the litmus test of real leadership is creating Policy that works.
Policy that works and brigs forth CHANGE.
Policy that results in Behavior Change for the People across the board.
Am talking about Real Change. Not the cosmetic variety and the greenwashing mirage. Change that we can count on and that counts towards altering our destructive path.
Yet how does real change, gets done ?
It is done via enlightened public policy means.
Or it happens via evolutionary governance and revolutionary grass roots change.
At any rate all the above means of Change are the results of enlightened policy deployment originating somewhere at the gray matter of a thinker who understands deep political REASON.
And then this, leader communicates this Policy to the People and they apply it to their daily lives.
Then Change ensues.
Yet, this is only done through the evidence-based policy.
Because it is the only way to go.
How do you built evidence based policy?
Just look at what real people are doing in their real lives and learn.
Then apply the learnings towards the trajectory of change where the leading edge of people move towards until you get a tipping point effect.
Of course in order to do this successfully, one must forget about special interests, partisan politics, ideology and the business industrial practice lobby, and also one must put the “economic agent” out of it’s misery. Then and only then one can make policy based on what people are doing already and enhance the good behaviors while stimulating Society as a whole.
Because ultimately, we can only help people, by speaking the simple language they understand.
A language shared by common experience.
And only by facilitating and rewarding the adoption of healthy behavior, do we earn our keep.
And then we shift.
All of us.
Mainly by pointing out to people the clear benefits to them and their kin.
And only by presenting to them their very own special interest in the change to be adopted.
LET US MAKE THINGS CLEAR, SIMPLE, AND EASY.
Great Policy will ensue.
Same like the European Union Energy Policy of “20-20-20”
Twenty percent of our Energy will come from sustainable renewables, and we will reduce our CO2 emissions by 20 percent, by the year 2020.
A great Policy initiative fashioned at the Environmental parliament that now has become the law of the land across all of Europe.
It’s a marvel of simplicity where Policy is concerned.
Look for it to be a springboard for Change away from fossil fuels and nuclear energy and it will help Europe go forward ahead of every one else.
That is what great Policy looks like “10-10-10”
Or like the great “20-20-20”
Or the upcoming “30 -30 – 30”
You can see where we are going with this in escalating our environmental defenses and changing our Energy habits in small incremental steps. Taking baby steps, decade after decade, after beneficial decade always going in the right direction.
And if you think this takes too long to get to 100%, no worries. This is not sudden change nor fast food. This is about Cathedral building and it might take a hundred years to get done, but it’s not about short-termism, nor about anyone of us, nor about our lives. it’s about all of those who come to this earth after us, and arrive to a more complete world, and for the species as a whole.
So long after we are gone — People across this Earth will benefit, from this just and simple Environmental Policy.
Kudos to all of you who helped make it happen. Thank You.
There is a Greek saying that goes like this: “It is a great society, where men plant trees that they will never be able to sit in their shade…”
So come lend a hand, and get this Great Society Policy adopted by your country. Sponsor Policy through the Environmental Parliament for your country’s Democratic Parliament too.
We are patient, yet we must speed things up, especially in America and China.
Be the Change.
Observe, test, measure, learn, adapt, innovate and make a true difference.
That’s the only way to LEAD and teach proper Common Sense Energy and Environmental Policy.
Simple Policy for Real People.