The last generation

We are the first generation to feel the sting of climate change, and we are the last generation that can do something about it.” - Washington State Gov. Jay Inslee

Years ago, many of us thought of global warming as something that would happen “someday.” As it turns out, “someday” is now.

Since 2000, we’ve experienced 16 of the 17 warmest years on record  including 2016, the hottest year ever recorded. As the oceans warm, we’re learning that it’s no longer a question of if the Antarctic ice sheet will melt but how fast.

We’re fast approaching the point when scientists say climate change could tip toward catastrophe, with sea levels rising faster along our coasts, and storms growing more powerful, and droughts and other forms of extreme weather more disruptive.

A two-part challenge

Nobody, of course, wants to leave the next generation a world where heat waves, floods, droughts and worse are the “new normal,” everyday events in an increasingly dangerous world.

If we accept, as we must, the broad scientific consensus that our pollution is accelerating these changes, then this is our challenge: to stop putting carbon into our air, and to repower our society with clean, renewable energy such as solar, wind and energy efficiency.

The good news is that solutions like solar, wind and efficiency not only reduce carbon pollution. They also clean up our air, reduce asthma attacks, and promote energy independence.

The Clean Power Plan

Over the past eight years, we’ve made significant progress to reduce global warming pollution and to make sure we leave kids growing up today a cleaner, healthier planet.

For example, in June 2014 President Obama moved forward with what The New York Times called “the strongest action ever taken by an American president to tackle climate change.”

His plan is called the Clean Power Plan and it would limit — for the first time ever — carbon pollution from dirty power plants.

Why power plants? The country’s more than 500 coal-fired power plants are America’s #1 source of global warming pollution — even bigger than cars and trucks. 

In fact, the Clean Power Plan would cut this pollution at least 30 percent by the end of the next decade. By giving the states the option to replace dirty coal plants with wind, solar and energy efficiency, it also has the potential to speed the shift to clean power. 

More than 8 million supporters

A recent poll shows that 2/3 of all Americans back the idea. Americans submitted more than 8 million comments asking the EPA to take action on the issue. More than 600,000 of these comments have come from our members and supporters.

Unfortunately, some members of Congress — including backers of the fossil fuel industry and those who still deny the overwhelming science behind climate change  have vowed to do everything in their power to block the plan.

What can and must we do to see that the Clean Power Plan remains in place?

First, in Congress, we must persuade enough representatives and senators to defend the Clean Power Plan and other necessary protections from repeal and rollback. 

Second, outside of Washington, we must persuade both Republican and Democratic governors who support clean energy to stand behind the Clean Power Plan  and thereby signal to Congress and the courts that blocking this plan will be politically unpopular.

Third, we must keep showing all of these officials that local leaders and the public are with us and willing to speak out on this issue  because we know when the public leads, our leaders will, eventually, follow. 

Protect our children's future

That’s what happened when we helped mobilize public opinion and support to turn back attacks on solar in Arizona, Colorado and New Mexico and won new commitments to solar in Austin and Houston, Athens and Atlanta, and New York State and California, among other places. Over the last 10 years, we’ve helped establish dozens of pro-solar programs, including the biggest: California’s Million Solar Roofs Initiative.

As Gov. Inslee pointed out, global warming is the challenge of our generation. Protecting our children’s future requires us to stop dumping carbon into our atmosphere and there’s no better place to start than with America’s #1 global warming polluters. 

 

Global Warming Updates

News Release | Environment America

New Report: Cities and States Achieving Impressive Results in Fight Against Global Warming

On the eve of the first legislative hearing in the U.S. House on comprehensive proposals to fight global warming, Environment America released a new report today that details more than 20 examples of cutting-edge policies and practices that communities, states, and countries are using to reduce global warming pollution.  The report highlights Arlington, Virginia’s commitment to transit-oriented development, which eliminates an estimated 35,000 single-passenger automobile trips to workplaces each day, cutting carbon dioxide emissions by tens of thousands of tons every year.

> Keep Reading
Report | Environment America

Global Warming Solutions That Work: Cutting-Edge Efforts to Curb Global Warming Pollution

This report details more than 20 examples of cutting-edge policies and practices that communities, states and countries are using to reduce global warming pollution. These examples show that while actions to reduce global warming pollution require commitment and creativity, they also bring with them other benefits reduced dependence on fossil fuels, cleaner air and healthier communities, economic growth and new jobs.

> Keep Reading
News Release | Environment America

Obstructionists End Senate Action on Global Warming

The Senate voted 48-36 this morning to move forward on the Climate Security Act (S. 3036), falling short of the necessary 60-vote threshold and causing consideration of the bill to end without any substantive votes on the measure. An additional 6 senators, who missed the vote, submitted statements indicating that they would have voted to move forward had they been present.

> Keep Reading
News Release | Environment America

Report: Global Warming Pollution Standards for Cars Will Save Money, Slash Emissions in North Carolina

With gas prices on the rise, requirements for more efficient, less polluting cars would save the average North Carolina report, “Putting the Brakes on Global Warming.”  The analysis also found that global warming pollution standards for automobiles—known as the Clean Cars program—would slash all greenhouse gas emissions from cars, trucks, and SUV’s by 10 percent by 2020. consumer more than $20 each month, according to a new Environment North Carolina

> Keep Reading
Report | Environment America

Putting the Brakes on Global Warming: How the Clean Cars Program Will Reduce Global Warming Pollution in North Carolina

North Carolina could limit its contribution to global warming over the next 15 years by implementing policies to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from cars and light trucks.

> Keep Reading

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