Headline of the Week: “Forest scientists pit trees against each other in fight for survival” from Grist. Sounds like a summer blockbuster! (Grist story)
Video Clip of the Week: Mark Ruffalo shined “The Colbert Report,” where he discussed the dangers of fracking, his role as an activist, and more. (Post with video clip)
Good Grief — What An Awful Thief: Someone stole a statue of the Lorax from the California estate of Dr. Seuss. (LA Times story)
Field Report from Florida: Beth Galante and Camille Lopez attended the Energy Efficiency Global Forum to discuss our work to bring energy-efficiency to New Orleans with our NOLA Wise program. (Our post)
Money Matters: An “Economist” story revealed that by 2100, the cost of climate change will be nearly $2 trillion annually. (Economist story)
Green Screen News: “The Island President” documentary on sea level rise and climate change in the Maldives received lots of praise as it began showing in select cities. (TV interview with former President Nasheed of the Maldives)
Heart-Less, in a Good Way: GM Foundation stopped funding for the Heartland Institute, the group of climate change deniers. (LA Times story)
Concern on the West Coast: The San Onofre plant in Southern California was closed indefinitely following the recent breakdown of the large steam generators, and the release of radioactive steam. (Our post)
Mark Ruffalo, one of our Millennium Award winners from last year, appeared on “The Colbert Report” last night to discuss his environmental activism, the dangers of fracking, and to advocate for clean energy. Colbert pointed out that he was the Hulk in the new “Avengers” movie and Mark replied, “Don’t get me angry.” Go, Mark!
During a visit to New Orleans last week, CEO Matt Petersen met up with Mark Ruffalo, the recipient of the Entertainment Industry Environmental Leadership Award from our 2011 Millennium Awards. With his family in tow, they toured our Holy Cross Project House, now a visitor’s center and model for green building in the Ninth Ward district, where we embarked to rebuild green following Hurricane Katrina. Ruffalo and his kids are seen sporting our “Green Dat” T-shirts (available for sale at the house or online — to benefit Global Green!).
Take the I AM Challenge, and Take Responsibility for a Green Corner of the World
Among other challenges, global warming is causing our sea levels to rise and putting our coastal cities — and billions of people — at risk across the globe.
We know first-hand about the threats of sea level rise at Global Green, where we have offices in New Orleans, Santa Monica, and New York — cities at risk from sea level rise. These cities and inhabitants are threatened, but our entire economy also stands to take a blow, as ports and other infrastructure face potential losses in the trillions that will impact national and global commerce.
The recent impact and concern over storm surge with Hurricane Irene pointed out the vulnerabilities to the Northeast, in particular New York. But more threats come from corporate and industrial lobbying, as evidenced by President Obama’s recent action to overturn EPA’s ruling on smog, and the EPA’s delay of issuing rules to limit greenhouse emissions from power plants.
To help raise awareness about sea level rise, and share the potential of a green economy, Global Green asked some friends in entertainment, music, and sports to help us by filming a public service announcement. The message is simple: If we act, we can protect our nation and create a green economy. The first step is demanding that our leaders invest in a green jobs, to support a clean and green economy that can sustain us for decades to come. We can begin by urging President Obama to fulfill the promises he made when he took office, and commit to creating the green economy we need to help us collectively reduce greenhouse gases and help guarantee a safe and healthy future for all Americans.
We are also calling for a full accounting of the economic and human impact of sea level rise, here in the U.S. and around the world. We need to bring the world’s cities — and nations — together to assess the challenge, and come together to act. Why? This is a global crisis: More than 600 million people across the globe live in coastal regions that are less than 10 meters above sea level. The U.S. alone has more than 12,000 miles of coastline, with more than half of all Americans living in and around coastal cities and towns. Among the world’s 10 most at-risk cities are Miami, New York, and New Orleans.
Scientists concur that NYC was lucky to be spared; Irene passed without the worst predictions of storm surge inundating lower Manhattan, which could have taken out Wall Street and flooded mass transit. But what about next time? Other communities on the East Coast were not so lucky and now face a tough road to recovery as they deal with loss of life and irreparable damages to homes and businesses. This is a harsh reminder of how vulnerable our coastal cities are when facing storms of this such magnitude — and how climate change has impacted these regions. For every foot of sea level rise, we can expect about 100 feet of coastal flooding. The situation is grave, but we are not powerless.
A sustainable future can be ours only if we take responsibility — and that responsibility is to preserve this planet for future generations. We need strong government action, and we also need to take individual and community actions to green our neighborhoods, our schools, and our cities. (And I am not just talking about changing our light bulbs — even though small acts like this remain important.) We can act by reclaiming our role as citizens — not only as consumers — and take responsibility for a little corners of our world. Because we know that local action can have a global impact; indeed, cities are responsible for 70% of all greenhouse gas emissions. Using the one-step-at-a-time metaphor, we can work together to reduce greenhouse gases and help minimize future damage.
Join us: declare yourself a citizen entrepreneur and fight with us against sea level rise. In working to green your corner of the world, enlist your family, friends, neighbors, and co-workers. Pick a project, small or large. Challenge your neighborhood association, school board, or city to take steps to fight climate change. We’ll be working together to create a green economy and connecting with others in taking responsibility for this grave threat to our communities and our nation. Recent and coming campaigns by Al Gore and Climate Reality Project, and Bill McKibben and 350.org all reinforce this call to arms of citizen entrepreneurs.
I would venture to say that each of us loves where we live — whether or not we are in the cities across the U.S. and globe facing the direct threat of sea level rise. If we do not live in these cities, we have loved ones and fellow citizens that do, and we can stand together. Stand and declare: I AM Los Angeles. I AM New York. I AM Boston. I AM Mumbai. I AM Tokyo. Or I AM New Orleans. While the well-known individuals in our PSA may help get your attention, the true hero is you, each citizen that takes action. Join us, and start with responding to the I AM Challenge. Begin by uploading your I AM photo with your favorite city at risk or hometown. Declare the commitment you will make to green your corner of the world. And share your progress with us. We will be fighting climate change, but it’s more than that — we will be creating better neighborhoods, schools, and cities, and moving toward a brighter future sustained by a green economy.
“It’s like giving the Earth an Alka Seltzer, if the Alka Seltzer shattered your internal organs so oil companies could harvest your juices.”–Stephen Colbert from Comedy Central’s “The Colbert Report” describing the process of hydofracking during a report on the controversy of the practice in NY. The video of the five-minute clip is worth watching.
And for more on fracking: We recently honored actor Mark Ruffalo for his efforts to ban hydrofracking at the 15th Annual Global Green Millennium Awards.