It's that time of year again, time to go out and find gifts for the Holidays. While you are out doing your shopping for gadgets and gizmos for your home, friends and family remember this; in addition to the crazy deals you can get during this time of year, you can also get rebates by buying energy efficient products. Deal hunters, it's time to rejoice at the secret savings!!!
With a change in power approaching with a new Congress, pundits and Climate Scientists are wasting no time making sure the public understands that we can't lose ground on the progress that has been made when it comes to fighting Global Warming. Incoming Republicans have made it very clear they plan to attack environmental protections in order to insure short term economic interests are protected.
In the past few weeks, two major events occurred demonstrating the power and depth of the environmental movement… and most people have no idea either happened. Appalachia Rising, a three day long demonstration in Washington D.C., brought thousands of protesters to the nation's capital to lobby for an end to mountaintop removal for mining coal. Bill McKibben's 350.org organized a worldwide day of work on October 10th, 2010 (10/10/10) where thousands of events were held across the globe to take a stand and take action to mitigate Global warming. But while a Tea Bagger rally or a Pastor of a church of eighty threatening to burn a Koran will garner wall to wall press coverage for a week, national and international gatherings for the environment of greater size are met with scant coverage and indifference by the U.S. press corp.
Another explosion in the Gulf of Mexico. Last week a production platform operated by the Texas company Mariner Energy burst in flames and exploded. While subsequent reports are downplaying the size of the explosion and accident as a whole, the explosion was significant enough that it sent the thirteen workers on the platform into an impromptu dive and dog paddle in the Gulf for a two hours before they were rescued. Though no oil appears to be leaking from the platform, once again Oil production safety is in the headlines.
Hurricane Katrina, Snowmageddon, the Hottest Decade on Record ; more and more extreme weather events are capturing front page coverage of our news as Global Warming is taking center stage as a matter of national concern. Unfortunately it seems that the media is ill-prepared to inform an increasingly worried public, at least judging by the lack of understanding by journalists of even basic fundamentals of Climate Science. Whether it’s a NPR’s Science Writer telling a listener that Global Warming and Climate Change are the same thing (they’re not), or a New York Times reporter writing that there is a debate about Global Warming (there isn’t), journalists are as often hurting the public understanding of Climate Science as much as they are helping, if not more so. The result is that, even as the science gets better, recent polls show the public is growing less confident about the certainty of Global Warming rather than more.
It is over. The crucial, two-week summit that will determine our planet's future climate has drawn to a close in Copenhagen, Denmark. Over 180 countries met, discussed, debated, argued and ultimately finalized an agreement over the next step in climate policy. The resulting agreement is what most close environmental policy makers and observers are calling, brace yourselves... an utter failure. The scorecard does look bleak; the heaviest polluters will not make measurable changes in their emissions, and the fastest developing countries would not agree to either oversight or to clear emission controls. The countries that went into the summit objecting to meaningful progress seemed to have succeeded in blocking binding resolutions to limit the increase in amount of Greenhouse Gases that our disrupting our planet's climate. But where many are decrying this as a monumental failure, a second look at how the summit transpired may show the developing world's resilience helped save us from complete inaction.
With the Copenhagen Summit reaching the mid-point of its two week agenda, the media has been a buzz about one climate story; ClimateGate, while giving colder and uninformative news coverage to a bigger climate issue making its way through the climate-change summit called Climate Debt.
Our planet is very small. It may not seem like it from our perspective but the Earth is, in fact, positively minute. For the people fighting the big Environmental battles in the trenches everyday, it is possible to lose sight of how connected we all are. Here are some things to consider the when you want to reconnect to your fellow planetary inhabitants, and to emphasize how precious our world really is.