A sustainable future after the US election

Usually Geetotal confines itself to one blog per month.
This is an exception. Our main blog was headlined

November 2016 is a real Good News Bad News month for the climate.

You can read it here if you missed it

That was before the US Election result. It is tempting to give up hope after the results of that election. A decade ago, many of us would hear ourselves say about action against climate change ‘what’s the point. It will make no difference when China is building a new coal-fired power station every day’, or something along those lines. Its natural to feel the same way about the US today.
But China is now a world leader in combating climate change and America can be too.

It is not all about federal government, critical though that is.The Climate Reality email below shares the result of Florida’s vote this week supporting solar energy.

Our message is: let’s not give up hope. It is more important than ever to be a catalyst for change towards a sustainable future. Do consider our Geetotal call to action.


Climate Reality Email 10th November 2016

Dear Friends,
Our work to solve climate change, one of the greatest challenges humanity has ever faced, has never been easy. But with the results of the election and its many, profound consequences for us as a nation, this challenge has become even greater.
While different people are affected by this election outcome in different ways, the divisive, often offensive rhetoric of this election season affects us all. We at Climate Reality are committed to fighting climate change, but we also recognize that in order to win we need to work in an inclusive, collaborative manner.
But even in the face of these attempts to divide us, what gives me hope is the fact that Americans are united in supporting real action to protect the planet and nation we share from climate change.
We saw this fact clearly in Florida, where fossil fuel interests and utilities spent millions backing a ballot initiative to halt solar in the Sunshine State. Voters roundly rejected the measure, opening the door to a brighter future in the state.
And this is just one ray of light among many. Consider, for example, how many businesses are turning to clean energy not just as the right ethical choice, but also as the right economic choice, making wind and solar increasingly ordinary – in a very good way. Many Americans may not even know they’re helping accelerate the shift to renewables when they shop every day at the nation’s two biggest users of solar energy, Target and Walmart.
In the years ahead, we’ll continue to work on accelerating this shift away from dirty fossil fuels by helping businesses, towns, universities, and other institutions transition to renewables. We’ll keep working at the local and state levels where regular citizens can make a real difference in supporting initiatives that expand clean energy and other climate solutions. We’ll continue participating in the diverse coalitions that will be required for us to win. We’ll also keep working through our international branches to keep the momentum going behind the Paris Agreement.
Believe me when I say that I understand the disappointment and sadness that so many Americans are feeling today. Today, our challenge is great. But we are equal to it and more committed than ever to fighting every day for a sustainable future for our precious planet. And remember, we’ve seen setbacks before. After the UN’s COP 15 summit in Copenhagen, it felt the world would never come together to find a solution to climate change. Six years later, we were celebrating the Paris Agreement.
If I’ve learned anything after decades in our movement, it’s that progress is never a given. It’s something you have to fight for. Often everyday. And at Climate Reality, we’re committed to the fight. One of the greatest tragedies of the campaign was that climate change never became the central issue it must be. We’re committed to ensuring it becomes an issue our leaders can never ignore again.
Today is a day to reflect. But know we will come back. And we will win.
You can help by supporting Climate Reality’s ongoing work to power a global grassroots network devoted to solving the climate crisis. Make a donation today and help us continue to fight for a sustainable, clean-energy future that Americans and people everywhere deserve.

Ken Berlin
President and CEO
The Climate Reality Project

The Paris climate deal comes into force

November 2016 is a real Good News Bad News month for the climate.

The Paris climate deal has come into force. As this is being written the US Presidential Election outcome is not yet known and how a Trump win could wreck the agreement is unclear. Whatever the outcome much more needs to be done. The UN Emissions Gap Report indicates that – even with the emission reduction plans nations have submitted under the Paris agreement – we are heading for a temperature rise of around 3 degrees, under which many millions of people would have neither a home nor food.

Bringing things back to the personal level, a new study has provided a basis for linking the emissions each of us are responsible for to the loss of Arctic sea ice. On current trends, all summer Arctic ice will be gone in 20 years. Each person in the UK with an average annual CO2 emissions of 7.5 tonnes is responsible for 22.5 square  metres of sea ice disappearing each year. That is something we can at least picture. Here is why arctic ice is so important, apart from those stranded polar bears:

  1. Rising sea levels will result in loss of habitat for many humans as well as other species
  2. Ice is white and reflects sunlight. Melting of summer ice adds to ocean warming.

So… two actions for this month

  1. Please make the Geetotal commitment (if you have still to do this) and tell friends about it. The sea ice data provides a graphic way to illustrate the difference each of us can make
  2. As the first post Paris conference gets underway this month (COP22 7-18 November) , sign the petition  asking world leaders to freeze new fossil fuel projects, here

And do please continue to give us give feedback on carbon footprint assessment and Geetotal in general.
Through the month, we give regular tweets and retweets (we don’t have the resource to repeat on Facebook.
Do follow wegeetees if you are a Twitter user and please retweet, see
https://twitter.com/wegeetees

Best wishes
The Geetotal team
www.geetotal.org/