We've had some good shows with the Conservation Law Foundation and appreciate their excellent work that has very broad implications on both the environmental and economic fronts. Here in RI, as an example, they've done a good job of helping mapping the appropriate use of our oceans and coastlines for supporting many industries, including renewable energy. The hope is, of course, to grow commerce and jobs while fully protecting our incredible resources.
Today, they bring in AGU to Renewable Now and bring us a very interesting report on the precise science behind climate change and keep us moving forward on our collective goals of quickly reducing green house gases.
As always, we love your feedback and insight.
The Most Important Thing You Will Read Today – The Clearest Statement on Climate Science From the Most Definitive Source
You just can’t find a more solid, conservative, reliable and grounded group than the American Geophysical Union. Since 1919 the AGU has been the hub of the physical sciences in the United States providing a gathering place and information exchange for earth, air and space scientists and then communicating carefully reviewed scientific information to the public and decision-makers in government, business and throughout society.
When a group like the AGU speaks through an official statement you know that every word of the statement has been scrutinized and carefully chosen to communicate important ideas and complex climate science as accurately as possible. The process of creating these statements involves hours, days, weeks and years of meetings, reviews, re-reviews and painstaking scrutiny.
This means when that when the AGU issues (as it did in 2003) and then updates (as it did again last week) its official position statement on a subject like global warming, attention should be paid. The latest version of that statement can be downloaded in PDF form from the AGU website and is “pasted” below in its entirety.
The calm and carefully chosen words of the AGU should reinforce a critical realization that immediate and dramatic action is needed to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions immediately. By becoming much more efficient in our use of energy and dramatically reducing the amount of fossil fuels that we burn, we can reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Meeting these goals will require developing dense and sustainable cities where most trips can be made on foot and convenient and affordable public transit plays a strong and supporting role as well as technological shifts to highly efficient buildings powered by renewable energy like wind and solar power. The AGU also reminds us that even if we slash our greenhouse gas emissions very sharply and immediately we must deal with the implications of the emissions of the past and the warming that is already baked into the system, warming that is bringing us rising sea levels and extreme and disrupted weather.
The call to action that the scientists of the AGU is sounding is being heard here in New England – laws like the renewable energy and energy efficiency standards are on the books in part because of this fundamental challenge. This legislative response to climate science is even more obvious in the case of laws specifically requiring emissions reductions – like the Massachusetts Global Warming Solutions Act. But passing laws is only one in a series of needed steps forward.
Translating the law into regulations (as the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection just refused to do when pressed by a remarkable group of kids) and then action, actually delivering on the promise of reduced pollution emissions, will not be easy. But we really don’t have a choice . . .