A reality check – we all need one of those once in a while especially on issues that are as important to us all today as climate change. The demands of restarting the economy after an economic recession have pushed this issue to the wayside, but tragically the length, severity and toll Hurricane Sandy took brought this issue back to the forefront of our minds. Headline grabbing damages due to severe weather over the past year have helped to bring more attention to this issue, and the Climate Reality Project is raising even more awareness tonight.
Over the last 24 hours, millions of viewers tuned in as former Vice President Al Gore along with experts across 24 time zones spoke about the impacts of climate change on low-income people, the impact of recent thunderstorms in Italy that are currently flooding the Tiber river, the size and scope of the damage of Hurricane Sandy, and much more.
BlueGreen Alliance Executive Director David Foster appeared during the last hour of the show to talk about where we go next on the issue. Historically, Americans have never backed away from any challenges and climate change will be no exception. He spoke to the fact that we could put millions of people back on the job tomorrow, and we could be a healthy society today.
Climate change is a reality we cannot afford to ignore. Becoming more efficient, moving to clean energy, and reducing pollution and energy waste are driving job creation and security today, and will continue to do so.
Making the transformation to cleaner sources of energy will ensure we maintain our global leadership in clean energy innovation; create much-needed jobs; develop a clean, safe and secure energy supply right here in the U.S.; and protect the health of our communities and environment.
During the presentation that followed the panel discussion, Gore cited the single most powerful bit of evidence of how the earth is warming: how significantly summer temperatures have shifted. For example one-third of summer days were warmer than normal, one-third were normal, and one-third were cooler than usual. That has shifted now to extremely hot weather most summer days, with extreme weather days now occurring up to ten percent of the time.
There’s no shortage of evidence of how climate change has changed the earth already and will continue to do so unless we as humans step up our game. We can do more to curb greenhouse gas emissions with policies like the Production Tax Credit, with industrial energy efficiency, by manufacturing more fuel-efficient vehicles, and much more. Check out the BlueGreen Alliance’s plan on how we can both solve the climate crisis and put people back to work at the same time. We generally welcome a reality check with the same enthusiasm as a bath of ice water, but taking on the challenges of climate change is necessary to secure a cleaner, safer world for ourselves today and future generations to come.
Now what are you going to do with this reality check?