Oct 25, 2016

Give us that #ClimateHope

October was a really BIG month for those of us working to save the world from a warming climate. Worldwide, one announcement after another putting forward great ideas and pledging to protect our climate for future generations.

Good: 

maple_canada.pngEveryone's favorite swashbuckling Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, shocked the world with an unexpected announcement that Canada would become the first country in our hemisphere to put a price on carbon pollution nationwide -- and by 2018.

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 A year ahead of when most people thought it could happen -- this month the E.U. joined India, China, the U.S. and others in ratifying the accords to keep the globe from warming. To make it binding, the Paris Agreement needed 55 countries accounting for at least 55% of global emissions to ratify. It enters into force on November 4th.

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President Obama invited a little-known actor named 
Leonardo DiCaprio and world-famous climate scientist Katharine Hayhoe to a chat with a few thousand of their closest friends on the White House lawn as part of the "South by South Lawn" festival.
They talked climate, Paris Accord and Leo's new documentary. It got a little attention. ;)

The ENTIRE airline industry VOLUNTEERED to be regulated for carbon emissions by the U.N. this week. It's a writing-on-the-wall moment for other industries to take note. In an international deal, the industry signed up to cut or offset emissions from air travel. 

Bad:

Earth-Climate-Change-will-Cost-us-Dearly-2.jpgA top trending topic on Facebook: a pretty scary article about an undeniable threshold. Our atmosphere is above 400 ppm of carbon dioxide and it won't come down in our lifetime. It's a little science-y, but that's a dangerous mark. Still not too late to turn things around with a clean energy revolution, but the window is closing fast!


In a #BreakingNews headline that's becoming too frequent -- September 2016 Was the Warmest Ever Recorded. It's the 11th month of record temperatures in the last year. June is the only month that didn't break a record. July and August were the two HOTTEST months in RECORDED HISTORY! It's a serious reminder we have to act boldly to stop burning fossil fuels.

Ugly:

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Hurricane Matthew killed hundreds of people in the Caribbean, some in the U.S. and did billions of dollars in damage. It broke all kinds of records. There's no doubt among scientists Matthew was stronger and more destructive because of a warming Earth.

#ClimateHope:

On balance, despite the bad and the ugly, this month was pretty great for Climate Hope. We can do this. Of course, Oregon is doing our part with recent victories on laws to cut emissions and grow clean energy -- like the Clean Electricity and Coal Transition Act. But, like most places, we have ways to go too.