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A Green Future for a Blue Planet | Memory of the Future Project
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A Green Future for a Blue Planet

By Sara Lovell | February 15, 2009

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earth-from-space“If the future of all human civilization depended on me…what would I do, how would I be?”

– Buckminster Fuller

 

There are some people who believe we may only have 10 years to affect the kind of change that will allow us to bypass the very worst effects of climate change. Robin Chase, the CEO of ZipCar, the carsharing company, recently said during her TED talk, “I’m really scared - we need to reduce CO2 emissions in 10-15 years by 80% in order to avert catastrophic effects. I’m astounded that I’m standing here to tell you that - what are catastrophic effects? A three degree centigrade climate change rise that could result in 50% species extinction. This is not a movie, it’s real life.”

So here we have it - this edge-of-our-seat, heart pumping, action adventure - where the hero and heroine have to take bold action with seemingly all the odds stacked against them. They commit with all they have because the alternative is wholly unacceptable. Time again we humans have been known to rise up and beat unbeatable odds. And I like to keep in mind, we are a young species, and  we’re always learning that sometimes we’ve only been able to see a tiny part of the big picture, even when we thought we were so certain we had all the facts.

I don’t know what might or might not happen for the future of this fragile place and our wild ride together, but I do have faith in the human heart and in our creative genius, and somehow I can’t see us getting this far with our enormous potential only to have the experiment grind to a screeching halt. So I’m of the belief that this is the end of this one particular story and the beginning of a whole new one. I see it as the shift from black and white to Technicolor in the movies, and way more dramatic than Surround sound & HD - so bring on the wild color and real life symphony of the next phase of humanity. 

There is new information every minute, and the information we referred to six months or a year ago can’t be referred to now. What everyone is saying now is that we have to make huge political and policy changes. We can change our light bulbs, and unplug our stuff when we’re not using it, but we have to change policy in order to implement the solutions that are needed to bring our CO2 emissions down.

And just as importantly, we need to keep asking ourselves - what is this future we want to experience - free from harm? Can we close our eyes and see it, feel it, taste it, smell it’s fragrance, hear its music? Can we imagine that we’ve made it to the other side?

Here are three great videos from three inspiring and dedicated solutionists.

 

Bill McKibben, “Deep Economy” author and activist gives us the short scoop on how the climate crisis is changing our thinking and connecting us back in to our local communities.


Jim Fournier is founder and President of the Biomass Energy & Carbon, a Colorado based R&D company commercializing biomass gasification and developing a revolutionary new “carbon negative” bio-fuels technology that can remove CO2 from the air by generating sustainable energy and a high-carbon fertilizer from biomass.

 

 

Kevin Danaher explores the viability and necessity of a green economy and methods to kick-start one through “green community-centers” in every major city. Kevin is an anti-globalization activist, and the co-founder of Global Exchange, and the executive producer of Green Festivals.

 

To close I’d like to share Al Gore’s words from his TED Talk: How dare we be optimistic. I definitely recommend watching it.

“In order to be optimistic about this we have to become incredibly active as citizens in our democracy. In order to solve the climate crisis we have to solve the democracy crisis.

I’m optimist because I believe we have the capacity - at moments of great challenge to set aside the causes of distraction - and rise to the challenge that history is presenting to us. Sometimes I hear people respond to the disturbing facts of the climate crisis by saying, “Oh this is so terrible, what a burden we have.” I would like to ask you to reframe that.

How many generations in all of human history have had the opportunity to rise to a challenge that is worthy of our best efforts? That has a challenge that can pull from us more than we knew could do. I think we ought to approach this challenge with a sense of profound joy and gratitude - that we are the generation about which a thousand years from now, philharmonic orchestras and poets and singers will celebrate by saying they were the ones that found it within themselves to solve this crisis and lay the basis for a bright and optimistic human future. Let’s do that.

What’s needed is a higher level of consciousness—that’s hard to create, but it is coming. There’s an old African proverb that says, “If you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”

We have to go far, quickly. So we have to have a change in consciousness, a change in commitment, a new sense of urgency, a new appreciation for the privilege we have of undertaking this challenge.”

 

And to recap some of the Big Ideas:

Change Policy, not just Lightbulbs

Bring CO2 emissions down to 350 ppm

Create Green Jobs

Create community based food & fuel independence

There’s no such thing as Clean Coal

Reassessing What Really Matters: friends, family, community, creativity, telling our new story

 

Policy Changers and Community Builders:

1Sky is a major initiative to unite climate change activists into a collective movement calling for green jobs, emissions reductions, renewable energy, and an end to coal plants. The goal is to formulate a clear policy platform while mobilizing at the grassroots to push it forward.

350.org  - 350 is the red line for human beings, the most important number on the planet. The most recent science tells us that unless we can reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere to 350 parts per million, we will cause huge and irreversible damage to the earth. But solutions exist. All around the world, a movement is building to take on the climate crisis, to get humanity out of the danger zone and below 350. 

Green for All is dedicated to building an inclusive green economy strong enough to lift people out of poverty.

And Van Jones’s  New York Times best-seller delivers a real solution that both rescues our economy and saves the environment.

The Green Collar Economy: How One Solution Can Fix Our Two Biggest Problems

Bioneers holds workshops and conferences focusing on biological and cultural diversity, as well as ecology, sustainability, traditional farming, community-building, and social justice. 

Rainforest Action Network uses hard-hitting markets campaigns to align the policies of multinational corporations with widespread public support for environmental protection. Dubbed “some of the most savvy environmental agitators in the business” by the Wall Street Journal. 

Global Oneness Project is traveling the globe gathering stories from creative and courageous people who base their lives and work on the understanding that we bear great responsibility for each other and our shared world.

Wiser Earth - toward a just and sustainable world created by community. 

Alliance for Climate Campaign is building a movement that creates the political will to solve the climate crisis — in part through repowering America with 100 percent of its electricity from clean energy sources within 10 years. 

 

“Everything will be okay in the end. If it’s not okay, it’s not the end.”

–Unknown

keith-haring-valentine

 

 

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