Category Archives: Global environment

World Team Now’s Gala Event June 9th

Join our nonprofit World Team Now  for an exclusive event to celebrate the launching of the World Team project’s  SOS-IS multistakeholder partnership and surprise announcements of members in the World Team. The event includes open bar, oyster tasting, amuse-bouche, softshell crab, sea scallops, ricotta toast, tomato and watermelon, and french fries. The event is being held at Grand Banks, a celebrated oyster bar aboard the historic wooden schooner, Sherman Zwicker located on Pier 25 in Manhattan on the Hudson River. See http://www.grandbanks.org/ to take in how special this event will be. You might have noticed the .org – Grand Banks is famous for its leadership in the sustainable seafood movement and is a partner in The Billion Oyster Project and generates funds to support maritime conservation, education, and preservation.

The gala is sponsored by  EARTHx http://www.earthx.org. Our deep appreciation goes to EARTHx

More details on our Gala will be updated here and on our Facebook Page at https://www.facebook.com/worldteamnow/ and Twitter feed WorldTeam1.

Follow our adventure through the blog, become a volunteer, make a donation, or collaborate as a partner, and join our Friends and Allies’ programs.  Understand better who we are by checking out our past and ongoing campaignsRead here about our technology servicesClick here for a list of all our past newsletters.

Grand Banks
Pier 25 @ N. Moore St. and West St
Hudson River Park
New York, NY 10013
http://www.grandbanks.org/

There is an Icon parking garage on Greenwich St. just south of N. Moore, and limited street parking on the northbound lane of West St. There is also street parking on streets in neighborhood of Grand Banks,Tribeca

 

2015: A Year of Global Transformation

I think we all can agree that the time for change is here, now, and ripe! Next year, as the clock turns to 2016, may we look back on 2015 and realize we were able to take advantage of the freedom to play in the peaceful transformation of our world, and we indeed chose to take action and use our highest capabilities to imagine a better way forward.

Ready, set, CHARGE! Back when Electric Vehicle public chargers were just coming out in California, World Team Now helped the City of Malibu lead the EV charge. Screen the premiere of the edited footage of our “CHARGE”:

Jumping into the future we wish to look back and label 2015, as a year of “global transformation” –where our media platform; “World Team” became a tool to give all people the freedom and ability to play in the peaceful transformation of our world.  World Team Now’s mission, vision and goals were better fulfilled. Beyond the division of language and culture all people began to see the possibility of our World Team project.

In 2015 we teamed up to support our partner organizations and campaigns, in the environmental movement focusing on #Action2015, and honoring the clock’s time here on earth sounding, TckTckTck, the science behind 350.org made sense, and through Avaaz, our voices sung in harmony reaching more people, as we all teamed up for stewardship of our planet. A year everybody embraced change— to live in better balance with our resources.

2015 was a year world leaders reached an agreement to take action with global policy, better serving our environment with respect for nature, and humanity. Pope Francis’s Environmental Encyclical connecting faith and science helped  to move all people to better understanding and into climate action.

2015 events built the foundation for change in our structures; with actual buildings in “Getting to Zero”- National Forum, and uniting the nations in, Paris France at UNFCCC’s COP21 for climate action, resulting in global policy, that did justice to our planet’s situation.

Projects like Planet Solar, and the all solar airplane; Solar Impulse 2 succeeded in the around their world flight; and these projects also inspired many about the possibilities of renewable energy, like solar in 2015.  The 10 Island Challenge, moved vulnerable island nations as examples of being powerfully responsible flexible and adaptive.  All of this inspired us to take responsibility and really consider the triple bottom line— people and planet, along with profit.

2015 was a year we made a different choice as to what industries received subsidies, cut industries and projects that didn’t serve the collective stewardship of all people and for our world’s sustainability. Instead we chose to prioritized our collective resources for renewable energy. We were indeed “happy” inside ourselves, and our outer world reflected this happiness within ALL.

We imagined a better path forward in 2015, took action, and it became our reality. Are you willing to imagine, act, and team-up to make this possibility real?

May we all charge forward to live with love and stewardship for all species and our planet! We can imagine better possibilities of ways to live! Let’s team up for change in 2015 and realize our dreams!

As we look back at the year prior, and imagine the possibilities for the year 2015, we can let it inform us now.  We wish you a wonderful year that is prosperous, healthy, and where love lives present.

‘Twas the Night Before…

20141215_205110

We know times are changing when a department store’s holiday window decorations moves the Christmas story to outer space. We found humor here — a contrast for levity

‘Twas the night before Christmas and all through each house,

Renewable energy was chosen, with a click of a mouse;

The last of Hanukkah candles burned ever so bright,

Winter Solstice, darkness, a time awaiting the light;

A year of change began causing everyone to look,

At our earth, our resources, to revise our world’s book;

How we live with another, beyond every divide,

Caused question, unrest, not a peaceful tide;

We knew from all stories that salvation was near,

Could we reflect, go beyond, and eliminate our fear?

20141215_205329Electrons were net positive, zero energy from the grid, we had to use,

All energy sourced from wind, sun, earth, and water — a menu, you’d choose;

Governance, politics, law, countries, religion, cultural- which had all caused a divide,

We lived into the possibility to re-imagine, to live in harmony, letting peace abide;

The real war was realized in a willingness to change,

Old structures, transformed — now stewardship remained;20141215_205142

Teaming-up all us people, everyone together in action now,

A tool, our platform, World Team could be a way how;

Every structure, system, convention, protocol to regulate how we lived here on earth,

Was re-thought, renewed, re-purposed, and transformed to better live for our planet’s re-birth;20141215_205304

Paris 2015 promised global policy all countries made the choice,

All nations for stewardship considering the planet and giving all people a voice;

With global partners like TckTckTck , Action 2015, Avaaz, 350.org and more campaigns teaming-up,

T.ime, E.nergy, A.ction and M.oney our TEAM to balance with winning’s greater than the World Cup;

20141215_205208

We could choose planet over profit for us people, a future to endorse,

World Team helped to choose clean energy, consider our environment, and create a new course;

All people realized the possibility of a World Team, woven together in all hearts,

A platform, of oneness for all, where change could go past fits and starts;

We looked back on the conventions, protocols, and the effort to define the way to unite all Nations,

Explored going to Mars, living on others planet, leaving earth behind, was more than temptations;

20141215_205244Each person chose to think first of the other, the whole, our planet, our water, air, real food and our earth,

With a willingness to change even before buying, consuming, and choosing what might be for their own individual worth;

We could sing “Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me”

We could read from the Bible, Torah, Koran, Gita; and say “let love be…”

20141215_205432Can the spirit within, and upon us manifest devotion to action, and a change of life?

A world where law was just, enforcement was not forced, and public servants served the people beyond all strife;

All people spoke their native language and were truly understood

A world beyond language where hearts ruled, and we realized they could;

We remembered we are the power, Divine Love is our source,

When we choose to all work together, we can make a strong force;

We envisioned a future beyond all of our history,20141215_205413

In the gift of the present we gained reverence for life’s ultimate mystery.

 

© By Suzanne Maxx 2014

 

Grateful for the United Nations

By Suzanne Maxx

It’s taken me a while to digest all that has happened this past fall in New York with our World Team project. There is truly much to be grateful for— thankfully it is more than the climate that is changing.

20140924_113238-sm

Inside the United Nations

Change is at work in the U.N. and I experienced it firsthand this year, where I ended up on the inside during the week of the 69th General Assembly of the United Nations (UNGA). The Climate Summit 2014 ended up to be subtle game changer, in retrospect, attributed primarily to the residue from the before with the People’s Climate March.  We were glad to be part of the team that helped to make it be historical. The March had an impact. Certainly it was the first time in the history of New York that 42nd St. was closed for an event, but with hundreds of thousands of people that took to the streets, leaders finally took notice of the scale of this constituency that demanded climate action.  If a world leader sitting in the UNGA was not personally engaged in the March, they at least had to take notice— especially when they were moved to their feet for a standing ovation from this video.  There is something powerful about this video— we decided to use it again below, in case you missed it in our prior blog “PeoplesClimate Moves Masses and the United Nations”.

Insert Video again

The UN events that had the most impact personally, came about by surprise. I was happy to be a leader of an NGO, (our World Team Now) and end up on the inside of the United Nations. However, clearing the multiple levels of security at least three check point made airport security seem like a breeze.20140924_115122_001-sm

The Open Government Partnership (OGP) Awards since its launch three years ago has grown from 8 to 65 participating countries and from a handful of founding civil society leaders to hundreds of organizations engaged in the OGP around the world.  Open government reform commitments (200 plus) demonstrate that there is strong demand for more open and accountable government around the world and the opportunity to change the culture of government has never been greater.

Indonesia had a prominent role now with OGP’s High Level Event with 11 heads of state in government and 30 ministers and more than 300 society leaders from around the world.  I was honored to attend.

I confess to have an opinion about the limitations of government growing up the family, of bureaucrats. My mom worked for the EPA and my step dad, HUD, and later FEMA, and they both had met at the Army Corps of Engineers. This concept of open government, where citizens were engaged, was new to me and only three years old to the United Nations. As I discussed, the role of government and society with my newly made friend from the Nestlé Corporation, I got more of the overview of Climate Week’s power from his journey at the Clinton Global Initiative. I felt like I had my finger on the pulse of critical conversations, especially when President Obama leaked to other governments that he had just left the room after to talking with a leader from China, and they had indeed finally agreed to some terms on Climate Agreement between the US & China that was formally announced later— truly new grounds.20140924_174757_004-sm

Denmark continues to be a leader, not just in renewable energy, but also in open government too.   In the Open Government Awards, Denmark’s initiative with the elderly,  took first-place!   A brilliant program where elderly citizens, 70+ are elected, to decision-making bodies in government and municipalities. The senior citizens are physically well functioning and eager to contribute to society. How wonderful that a government finds a value place for the elderly’s wisdom in society.  Hopefully more countries will duplicate this action with the “Statutory Elected Senior Citizens Council,” empowered by law Senior citizens actively influence local government policy.

The Open Government Partnership is a multi-stake initiative focused on improving government transparency, accountability and responsiveness to citizens. OGP brings together government and civil society champions of reform, which recognize that governments are much more likely to be effective and credible if they open their doors to the public’s input and oversight. The concept of open government has enormous potential being able to take different sectors integrating government and society with for-profit and the nonprofit, corporations to create programs for people. Citizens can participate in bringing community to government to build our future. It’s not just the leaders’ job to bring policy to action. It’s also a way for the people to engage and the People’s Climate March was one day, one way, but we need the peoples’ voice to be heard, more frequently, and with a louder level.

I have to confess— it continues to be a challenge to hold the light and participate in the United Nations conferences, a process we have been involved with for over 20 years witnessing how little the nations seem to be united. But thankfully, we have a global structure for leaders to gather with the intent to unite.20140924_183129_007-sm

I received a letter from the president’s delivery unit for development monitoring and oversight (UKP4) and the national REDD+ agency of the Republic of Indonesia to attend climate week in New York for “The Transformative Potential of REDD+”.   Actually the preservation of forests are a passion of mine through our World Team Project’s journey, but our World Team Now is focused on renewable energy demonstration projects— so it was exciting to be back inside this conversation that dealt with preventing deforestation. I guess the seeds of where REDD+ was formed can be traced back to the first Earth Summit Global Forum that we attended in Rio. REDD+ seems to be making progress in Indonesia from the government’s point of view, but the language between the demand side, and sustainability does seem a bit blurred.

These days inside the UNGA, and leading up to the Climate Summit, were all consuming, getting very intense with much to process about the conversations I witnessed inside the United Nations, wishing I could do more than listen. I went to find solace in an empty quiet room seeking to find a Wi-Fi signal, to share back with the world. 20140924_150830-smHere were some of my Tweets from that day.

As I started to write, the empty room started to fill up with people many wearing the Palestinian keffiyeh headdress. The tension in the room was palpable, between them and others entering. My writing quickly turned to prayer as I began to wonder if I should leave after feeling out of place, clearly not belonging there. The time clearing security to get out, as people were trying to clear security and get in was blurred, but not enough to see the teleprompter screen by the entrance door. This was a moment I wondered if presence at the United Nations made a difference.

Outside the United Nations, the day before the Climate Summit we were part of a UN related event where women gathered in the UN Church, WeCAN. Familiar faces from the climate movement over the years shared about various actions women were leading around the world, many representing indigenous people. But these women leaders have made perhaps more progress than those on the inside wearing suits, to truly represent the people.

For us at World Team Now, Climate Week ended with a tour of a green building in Manhattan.

Although at the end of UNGA, it looked like we were quite far from any kind of outcome we were seeking for climate action in terms of policy, these following months revealed that indeed the USA and China have agreed to terms, a significant milestone and step towards solid action in global policy.  But will that be enough, and will the rest of the world unite as nations, for us people?  Paris 2015, UNFCC’s COP21 proposes to be the key opportunity for global climate policy action when the possibility to cut of fossil subsidies globally, may be more than a dream. Dream big: what about all Nations United, and the voice of the people to be heard in harmony, moving to action and change!

20140924_113429_000-sm

Earth days? Or an Era of Conscious Choice About Climate

In these days, times, call them “sacred” days, or “Holy days”— named differently, depending on religion or region of our world, but commonly viewed as Holidays!  Regardless of yours, we are wishing you happy ones!

World Team Now is an organization that is part of the TckTckTck global climate action campaign

World Team Now® is an organization that is part of the TckTckTck global climate action campaign.

The days are going faster blurring into years, beyond decades— more like an Era. This Era is different.  The question of our species’ future existence here on planet earth is up.  If you think this statement is extreme, read, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change just released groundbreaking report on the impacts of climate change.  We need to begin to take immediate #ClimateAction, as scientists have declared from now to 2040 “The Era of Climate Responsibility”

Urgent Climate Action is needed not just for global leaders who could ratify game changing public policy, but also for us each to choose to prioritize action now with our choices.Take Action Memes

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change just released a groundbreaking report on the impacts of climate change.

The report details the harsh realities of a warming planet, including increased food shortages, more floods, droughts and greater levels of poverty. Many of these impacts are already being felt around the world. U. N. ‘s IPCC report scientifically spells out the cause of the threat, also focuses on renewable energy solutions— calling  again for urgent Climate Action.  If you want some highlights of the of the IPCC report, check out WTN’s blog post on the IPCC report .

“Years of Living Dangerously,” a new television series that premiered this past Sunday, powerfully documents the real stories behind climate change and breaks through many myths that disrupt understanding about  humanity and earth’s reality.  It transcends usual bi-partisan and religious divides, which unfortunately are often associated with comprehension of Climate Change. If you missed it, or want to see it again the link to watch the Series Premiere is here. We think it is fabulous.

Blood Red Full Moon

Blood Red Full Moon
© World Team Now® (WTN) 2014. All rights reserved.

Recently many of us witnessed a Total Lunar Eclipse of the Blood Red Full Moon! Amazing is the grace of these natural cycles.  Clearly both the IPCC’s latest report and the television series deliver the same message in different ways, about the distinction between man’s choices and how we are indeed influencing natural cycles, yet have choice. World Team Now® looks at these times as a chance to exercise the wisdom we have in order to be better stewards of our planet.

20120722_202101

The Beauty of Malibu

Reflecting on the Word Team Now®’s local campaign, the Natural Beauty of Malibu, and how we have a choice to use our world’s resources, are we, as humanity, individually doing our best, with our home planet?   Is the way we have organized our lives, in the context of the natural world, sustainable?   This is the driver behind the World Team Project— to show a different way.  For now, we have been working to demonstrate change by choosing renewable energy solutions to raise public awareness about one’s personal choice, and collectively, the responsibility we have, not only for the next generations, but also for our species at large.

It all becomes easier when it is a team effort.  World Team Now is teaming up with the local community in Malibu for another annual Earth Day event.   Come join us on April 27th— the details are here.  Click here to learn more about the history of Earth day, or find the nearest Earth day event for you, on the Earth Day Network.

World Team Now® understands that energy is a key, renewable energy wherever possible but especially in the transportation and the building sectors, plus teaming up to make it happen at the speed to meet the challenge.  The more renewable energy solutions that  we can find to combat the present sources of dirty extracted energy, the less chance of political unrest, civil war, famine, hunger, and drought, and other unthinkable extreme atrocities that can be brought on by Climate Change.

PV60 Event April 18th in Palo Alto, CA

PV60 Event April 18th in Palo Alto, CA

So days, like the one called “Earth Day” is  just like a birthday— it is what you make of it.  Celebratory and yet confronting, at least Earth day is a day for humanity to realize what the earth gives us. The promise of the Holidays associated with this time of year promise a resurrection, a passing over from one land into the next, a blooming— a coming to spring forward, fertility or ripe season— so are you ready for 100% Renewable Energy?  We are. What about a time of global transformation? Another step is we’re a supporting partner for the PV60 event in Silicon Valley’s Palo Alto, to celebrate 60 years of Solar Energy.  Go 100% Renewable Energy!

Solutions to the climate crisis are available now – a world powered by 100%  renewable energy is possible.  Aspen, Colorado is one of many towns, cities, businesses and other institutions  switching to 100% clean, renewable energy.  The solutions are here, now we just need leaders willing to take #ClimateAction.

Solutions to the climate crisis are available now – a world powered by 100% renewable energy is possible. Aspen, Colorado is one of many towns, cities, businesses and other institutions switching to 100% clean, renewable energy. The solutions are here, now we just need leaders willing to take #ClimateAction.

World Team Now's Facebook Page

World Team Now®’s Facebook Page

Flying around the world in an all-solar-powered airplane like the Solar Impulse 2, net -zero buildings (where one can pick fresh grown vegetables from a vertical growing farm outside your apartment window),  drive across the country in the all electric Tesla and use their EV solar charging stations with DC fast chargers, imagine renewable energy microgrids powering whole islands… These are not pipe dreams, they are really happening now— check out World Team Now®’s FaceBook page.  Here is where we try to move to the fast paced rhythm of global transformation and it is happening.  See posts on these topics and more renewable energy solutions in action, from brilliant entrepreneurs that inspire to cities like Aspen, Austin  and Palo Alto with climate ambition taking action now.

Each year, like a birthday, Earth Day’s meaning has changed.  Like a centennial with full memory intact, of the 100 years they have lived in their body, knowing that each breath matters, a metaphor— for where we may be as a species?  Why not make every day be an Earth day and every breath a powerful choice for the day to create our next Era of Energy— let’s reevaluate how we choose to power our world.  Do we use the wisdom and knowledge we have gained, to responsibly focus on what’s the highest good for all?

UN Climate Summit in September 2014, New York.

UN Climate Summit in September 2014, New York.

External energy and consciousness are not dissimilar— they all rely on a source.  Do you feel good about how you choose to source your energy?  With the World Team Project we are so eager to launch our World Team Platform, so you can come along while we demonstrate how we source our energy to renewables.   We hope to have the full World Team of twelve in action, together in Paris for COP21.  We all need it to be a game changer this time; meanwhile if not one of these holidays, we hope to see you in September for the UN Climate Summit  in New York City. Or join World Team Now® for our annual event October 12th— please save the date!

© World Team Now® (WTN) 2014. All rights reserved.

IPCC Study Results Call for Urgent Global Action

Photo courtesy of Tcktcktck partner ©Greenpeace/Jeremie Souteyrat

Photo courtesy of Tcktcktck partner ©Greenpeace/Jeremie Souteyrat

World Team Now welcomes the launch of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) latest report in Berlin today which shows that avoiding catastrophic climate change is still possible, but only with rapid and sustained cuts to carbon emissions.

The report points to the benefits of increasing the use of alternative and renewable energy for power and phasing out fossil fuel in the long run. In addition to highlighting the need to transform the energy system globally, the IPCC says other solutions to the climate crisis include using energy more efficiently, with a focus on: the transportation, and building sectors, with renewable energy and technology.  Investing in the retrofits and transformation of these industries sectors will be a key.

The IPCC makes it clear that climate action is needed now, and that it is time for us to take responsibility using the wisdom to choose what is needed, affordable, and beneficial for us all. This report validates what many of us realize – that we have the solutions to the climate crisis, and it’s our job, and thus our leaders’ jobs, to be stewards of our collective environment, and use this wisdom from science, so humanity can live in better balance with our resources.

Solar facilityTo keep temperature rise below 2 degrees C by 2100, substantial shifts in annual investment flows between 2010 and 2029 will be required. Specifically, investment in fossil fuels, both power plants and extraction, would need to decline by 30 billion USD per year between 2010 and 2029. At the same time, investment in renewable energy supply would need to rise by 147 billion USD.

The third installment of the IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Report (AR5 WG#3) involves over 800 scientists synthesizing the latest findings in the field which raises pressure on government leaders to act as it has outlined how cutting pollution now will be cheaper and more effective.

The challenge is levels of climate change-causing carbon emissions will rise across the globe, so it’s clear that more needs to be done and faster, to accelerate the transition  to alternative and renewable energy, ideally 100% renewable energy systems, along with owning the responsibility to protect the lungs of our planet, the rain forests, and the seas from acidification.

All around the world people are facing the real impacts of climate change.

All around the world people are facing the real impacts of climate change.

The transition to renewable energy will provide massive benefits ranging from energy security, new jobs, good business and improved public health. Climate change is a global problem. Addressing it requires international cooperation together with effective local, national, and regional policies.

We, at World Team Now, will be looking to President Obama, and Secretary of State John Kerry, along with the rest of the world leaders, to commit to increasing climate action at the United Nations’ Secretary-General’s Climate Summit in September.  Ideally, this will lay the groundwork for a strong global treaty that we visualize being signed at the  2015 Paris Climate Conference (UNFCCC COP 21).

 © World Team Now (WTN) 2014. All rights reserved.

Coming of Age? – The United Nations UNFCC COP19

In Warsaw, Poland the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC ) COP19 just wrapped up this past week end and in the extended final hours there was  action on much needed global climate policy. Here is a summary from the COP 19 U.N. website, the U.N.s’ point of view, including other U.N. COP 19 document resources, and the closing press release, excerpt:

“The Warsaw Climate Change Conference 2013 concluded successfully! Key decisions adopted at this conference include decisions on further advancing the Durban Platform, the Green Climate Fund and Long-Term Finance, the Warsaw Framework for REDD Plus, the Warsaw International Mechanism for Loss and Damage and other decisions”

COP 19’s success depends on ones perspective. Many of us feel these baby steps seem too little, too late – especially in the face of another significant catastrophe like, Haiyan. As usual there was considerable tension at  the UNFCC conference, this year it was palpable with the Philippines chief negotiator, Yeb Sano’s, very enrolling heartfelt opening remarks, with a call to the United Nations for action on climate change now. Activism through the global community took root on Tuesday afternoon when Sano delivered a 590,000+ person campaign organized by Avaaz calling for climate action directly at these negotiations in Warsaw. The Polish Governments’ disturbingly comical choice to allow a World Coal Summit to happen simultaneously augmented the tensions of COP19. Midway through the conference NGO’s and Civil Society walked out – representing the voice of the people, and then continued to protest, “Stop Climate Madness”.  World Team Now is part of the TckTckTck a campaign named after the sound of the clock.  The 400 member campaign on Climate Action is a start for “teaming-up” as the timing is critical. How much this tension actually helps during the conference is debatable.

There seems to be a decrease of international press attendance at these United Nations COP conferences, to reach out to masses of people, at least by certain “Developed” country’s media to get the big news outlets to send reporters, to cover or at least write original content and not just rely on the associated press’s coverage.  The live feed from the UNFCCC has made it easier for all of us to at least follow the conference virtually.  Here are some of the articles to give you a more rounded perspective on COP19, from sources worth considering:

 

Left out of the U.N. statement is the internal tensions between  those who have resources, and those who do not.  The side action prevalent at the U.N. COPs continues to be protests growing, not just driven by the dissatisfaction of the slow pace of the talks, but truly based on the urgency we as a world face with climate change, and our ability to act:

  • Work plan for Paris 2015:  Nations reached a compromise on a new work plan to  get ready for the Paris Summit in 2015. A number of countries, including the US and EU, had been calling for a clearly defined timetable through to 2015 that would see countries make clear climate change “commitments” by a deadline of early 2015. However, China led a push back by a group of developing nations, arguing for more flexibility for poorer nations – a move that drew an angry response from the US who accused China of rolling back a previous agreement to ensure all nations make some form of commitments through the 2015 treaty. “I feel like I am going into a time warp. That is folly,” US lead negotiator Todd Stern was quoted as saying by Reuters.
  • Rich and poor tensions: The summit once again saw tensions between developed and developing nations laid bare, with poorer countries responding angrily to moves by Japan, Australia and Canada to water down previous climate commitments. There was also frustration at US opposition to the loss and damage mechanism and the failure of industrialized nations to make fresh emission reduction and climate financing commitments.
  • Not Enough Done: Green groups condemned the final agreement for failing to make sufficient progress towards an ambitious new climate treaty in Paris in 2015. There was a walkout or about 800 people Thursday 21 November included people from organizations including Greenpeace, WWF, Oxfam, 350.org, Friends of the Earth, the Confederation and ActionAid.

This political process with the UNFCCC will continue, with annual conferences and with key mile stones intending to be met.  COP19 had a “Cha, Cha” going on with two steps back and one forward.

It brings to question whether the action needed for our species to be more in balance with our planet can come through the organization of this process within the United Nations conferences.  The challenge of this governmental process and its bureaucratic structure may not be aligned to reflect the truth that serves all people.

Humanity has the gift of choice and to use wisdom taught though nature, and respect the science pointing to the fact it is important to understand the consequence of how anthropocentric gasses affect climate change.  If there is still not enough evidence based on witnessing these super storms, consider reading the leaked IPCC report (story here, report here), with alarming scientific facts about the state of our planet. Yeb Sano put a face on Climate Change, and may our world better understand the responsibility of humanity and use wisdom.

We are grateful there was global policy approved at COP19, and are eager for more actions to be taken, and disheartened at the present time, that our primary international structure uniting nations cannot do more. We hope the UNFCCC can ultimately be a path towards global transformation reflected in active international policy perhaps “coming of age” by COP21?

It is a challenge to trust this process and where we are in our world at this time.  May we be able to see clearly by 2020, and ideally much before.

© World Team Now (WTN) 2013. All rights reserved.

The Solar Impulse— Living Dreams of Transformation

Across America 2013:Final leg from Washington DC. to New-York City. Final Approach © Solar Impulse |Revillard| Rezo.ch

Across America 2013:Final leg from Washington DC. to New-York City. Final Approach © Solar Impulse |Revillard| Rezo.ch

Pioneers Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg, the pilots for the all-solar plane, had the dream for The Solar Impulse— the first manned flight to fly both day and night. When we first met, it was a model plane and now it has made history.  There are few people who choose to live their lives by pioneering inspirational projects that prioritize the global dream of transformation; in that spirit we are united.  In this way, even when I met Bertrand Piccard and André Roschberg for the first time in Copenhagen, Denmark 2009 at the United Nation’s conference COP15, they shined the light through their eyes, with words and ultimately deeds of inspiration.

Bertrand Piccard and André' Roschberg of the SolarImpulse at The United Nation's Conference COP15 Copenhagen, Denmark 2009 when the SolarImpulse was a model and a dream.

Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg of the Solar Impulse at The United Nation’s Conference COP15 Copenhagen, Denmark 2009 when the Solar Impulse was a model and a dream.

The Solar Impulse when it was a model at COP15 in 2009.

The Solar Impulse when it was just a model at COP15 in 2009. Now its mission has been accomplished — to demonstrate that flight can be done in a totally sustainable way. Now on to the second Solar Impulse airplane, the HB-S1B, in 2015!

Betrand would say, “Life is not governed by chance, but by encounters”.  We shared about realizing dreams against seemingly impossible challenges; we shared visions, and together laughed louder than the chorus’ that sang songs of cynicism and doubt, and knew this was an important time for our planet.  A time where human’s challenge to live in balance with our natural resources needed demonstration. The Across America journey was then a distant dream.  From San Francisco to Texas to Arizonia to St. Louis to Washington DC and ultimately to New York.

The Solar Impulse the all-solar airplane follows in a rich tradition of risky aviation demonstrations from the Wright Brothers to Lindberg’s hop over the Atlantic. These pioneers used their flights to push the dream into reality, launching new industries by piloting courageous first flights for the public to witness.  Bertrand’s family has a lineage of this type of pioneering legacy as well, with a message. But it is more than the technology, it is a model for a path that is needed—and each major step, is a metaphor not just for realizing aviation dreams but also for a demonstration project about renewable energy to combat climate change. It’s more than teaming-up unique pioneers like Bertrand and André. Herein, this project is a marriage of innovative technology and sustainability, both needed to come together for real change at a rapid rate with public adoption, for global transformation.

We at World Team Now watched from afar as the plane became a reality, as it was tested and flown in different parts of the world—following, promoting to the public, sharing, blogging, tweeting and holding the light that we would unite, and all of our dreams would indeed be realized. We watched and followed the stream in real time through the pilot’s journeys watching one major step after another.

In the tone of realizing dreams, and being an inspiration for the Wall Street financial world at REFF Wall Street our friends André and Bertrand, the Pilot's of the Solar Impulse airplane teamed-up for a game changing keynote speech.

In the tone of realizing dreams, and being an inspiration for the Wall Street financial world at REFF Wall Street our friends André and Bertrand, the Pilot’s of the Solar Impulse airplane teamed-up for a game changing keynote speech.

What a surprise to learn that both Bertrand and André Borschberg who I just followed virtually from St. Louis to Washington DC, would be the key note speakers for Renewable Energy Financing Forum (REFF) -Wall Street. REFF-Wall Street, an event World Team Now participated in as a supporting organization is held in New York City, and they, us, and the event would all be in New York.  Their key note’s message to the extremely traditional Wall Street financial brokers was that “green” was not just good for the ecology; it was also good for the economy, stimulating new industries, and many green jobs.  The Solar Impulse’s approach to financing going beyond traditional methods was indeed an entrepreneurial approach with integrated marketing partners, branded with their technology and services within the Solar Impulse, patrons, angels, and other fundraising mechanisms. This all hit home harder when President Obama  gave a speech on his plan to fight climate change which echoed similar sentiments that were spoken by the innovators of the Solar Impulse team. When we connected after the key note, I learned of the challenges of the last leg to New York with what was then an exact unknown departure date and time; there were still formidable obstacles. To top it off, it was a surprise to see Bertrand and André again in the same day during NY Clean Energy Week’s event at the Tesla showroom celebrating along with other innovators.

We at World Team Now worked diligently to find a way to support the last leg’s landing of the Across America from Washington to New York, and through our contacts at the Governor’s office were able to team-up people and bring in the Port Authority to participate and contribute to help overcome some of the obstacles.

Visit our gallery of the Solar Impulse JFK Landing by clicking on the picture.

Visit our gallery of the Solar Impulse JFK Landing by clicking on the picture.

We were honored to participate in a slice of history and be present for the successful landing of the Solar Impulse at JFK on Saturday July 6th 2013 at 11:09 pm. This “dream come true” moment was ineffable. To be in the presence of all who made the living dream of transformation a true reality, to share in the moment of completion of the Across America Journey with them and be there to see with one’s own eyes is an indelible moment that lives in many lives, besides mine. There was only a small group of us VIPs, journalists, and 50 lucky contest winners allowed to this special historic event. Not only was aviation history written in New York, but it was such a victorious event, as the plane continued to fly even after a rip in the fabric about 8 feet occurred in flight, forcing the plane to land early and modify their originally intended route and landing time.

Had the plane crashed, instead of the one in San Francisco, of course all eyes would have been on the Solar Impulse (a commentary about our society’s present values).  Those of us that bore witness to this historical moment were so elated; a spirit that was contagious with looks of awe in the silence and lack of noise, with clean fresh breathable air free of burned jet fuel, with a wing span (208 ft / 63.4m)  a bit larger than a 747 ‘s  (195 ft 8 in / 59.6 m) when it landed a few feet in front of us on the tarmac where we waited.  We met others who were equally blown away by this moment and also captured it here in Roland Pabst’s blog.  The media impressions surpassed expectations with  8.3  billion thus far—which is significant, especially given the poor presence of traditional media sources at the New York landing.

The public at large has had a hard time of truly understanding the full potential of solar energy and other renewables as well as the importance of the change to a more balanced energy source.  So when people can see that the all-solar plane flies at night they begin to really understand the battery storage concept— the choice to be able to feed energy back into the electrical grid and/or store energy, and even sell it back to the grid or use it.  As Bertand explained, “Our plane, Solar Impulse, was never designed to carry passengers, but to carry a message”.

We learned more about the message at the press conference on Monday; events continued reaching the public like the opening of NASDAQ where Tom Werner from SunPower rang the bell with Bertrand and André.  Then the meeting at the U.N. where the Clean Tech flag was planted—hopefully this will further inspire the U.N. towards a binding climate treaty— finally (especially after the horror of Copenhagen) —  we are long overdue for global action for collective energy and for our one environment, our one world.  The people of New York got other opportunities to share in the gift of the Solar Impulse at the various other community events hosted by sponsors, such as Schindler at the Intrepid.  We hope this inspires you to see for yourself and take advantage of the Solar Impulse’s Public Day.  If you miss the Solar Impulse this time, keep it on your radar, as in they will return during their World Tour in 2015.  Say good-bye to this airplane yourself— it is for all people to see here in the USA at JFK now for the public, click here to find out more. Be an ambassador for our future, and go and see the beauty and possibility the Solar Impulse represents.

Act Locally, Act Globally – Think of Us All As Part of One

REFF-WS--banner-160x600

Join us next week and use this  20% Off Discount Code “SPT20WTN”

Change seems to be accelerating. Change, not just with our climate, but also with the “systems” humanity has created, spurred by Globalization.  Whether that be the legal system, political system, financial system, health care system, or educational system— the systems in place to provide the world’s basic needs.  Have we learned to scale our systems to meet Globalization’s challenges? Humanity can learn  from how nature scales to support the whole—  Biomimicry of man-made systems seems key to the stewardship of our earth and for an organically sustainable future.   

Global transformation is in the works, and is needed within all systems including those within our one global governing body – the United Nations. Friday ended the two week climate talks in Bonn, Germany. The disappointment was all too familiar as it seemed like yesterday, but it was a year ago when World Team Now produced the event as part of the UNFCC’s Rio+20, and also an event at The People’s Summit.  We went down to Rio once again with great expectations for more progress than what was able to be achieved inside the United Nations’ RIO+20 conference’s time. So now, it is distressing that there was a huge snag caused by foot dragging by Russia in a key entity, the Subsidiary Body on Implementation (SBI). At least there was some progress in the overarching 2015 international climate action agreement. Why wait until disaster? We clearly need more projects that influence public perception. “To see is to believe” for most, so we need more examples to inspire the masses to embrace change.

At World Team Now, we are growing, and eager to see the change that happens once our non-profit World Team Now can be supported by our World Team multi-media platform, and broadcast.  Our World Team project too needs to be demonstrated to be fully understood, and to that end our development of our pilot project continues.  While we are working to have this World Team model up in full scale, we have been occupied with events.  In California, for example what we did in Malibu with Earth Day (photo album here), with our “Ride & Drive”, and “The Circle-Up  Around Renewable Energy”.  We owe a shout-out to all of those who showed up to participate or volunteer, and for the support of Nissan of Thousand Oaks, and Edwards/Wildman.  We hope to be sharing some of the edited footage soon at WTN’s upcoming event September 26 and 27.   Another example is what World Team Now is doing in NY to support ACORE’s Renewable Energy Financing Forum (REFF)-Wall Street. Join us and get 20% off registration by using this code “SPT20WTN”. REFF is the perfect activity, included with more than 20 Energy Industry Events for New York City’s Energy Week, June 24th-28th.

Please save the dates for World Team Now’s upcoming annual event in Malibu September 27th & 28th, 2013. Watch World Team Now’s Event’s page for more details about the timing.

Speaking of timing, two great renewable energy demonstration projects born in Switzerland also have “New York” as a destination.  PlanetSolar, is the world’s largest solar boat, and it includes an interesting research component with the project it just arrived in New York.  The soaring approach to change done state by state has value. The Solar Impulse is a renewable energy demonstration project with great potential. You can take flight and  follow in real time on their final segment of the “Across America” trip, and join the history in the making as they land in New York early July.

Planet Solar is in New York

PlanetSolar reaches New York, the second american stopover of its 2013 campaign

The two states where World Team Now is based are proudly taking leadership positions in the environmental transformation needed to address climate change— let’s hear it for California and New York, especially Mayor Bloomberg’s action plan to address the affects of climate change .  The water situation and the issue of drought is rapidly becoming more serious, due to climate change.  Often, to execute solutions at a scale needed to address the affects of climate change, bonds are created.  California is taking the lead with creating a Water Bond.  World Team Now was present when Senator Fran Pavley, Chair of the Senate Natural Resources and Water Committee, hosted the Hearing; “Encouraging Regional Water Solutions: Implications for a Statewide Water Bond” at Pepperdine University.  Californians are set to vote on the $11.1 billion water bond in November, 2014.

More action needs to be able to take place on a state level and even city level, which gives more weight to the “Think globally, act locally” mantra—  but not to preclude think global act global actions which are needed as well— the local can catalyze the global.    It is a huge victory to finally permanently close the troubled San Onofre Nuclear Power Plant in California, not just for the immediate risk of radiation, but also in respect of the long term issue of what to do with the radioactive rods which are byproducts of nuclear reactors. With no safe disposal protocol for these rods, even closed plants will continue to pose risks to the public and our planet forever The pressure is on for Southern California Edison to strive towards truly renewable energy— the kind with no radioactive byproducts to threaten public safety. It is time for us citizens to spearhead energy independence, be active in supplying a diversity of local renewable energy resources (supporting grid stability as a benefit), and to learn how to responsibly use energy.

But it is time for the whole of us in society to consider “Act locally, Act globally- Think of us all as part of ONE”.

 

Rio +20

Rio +20 by Suzanne Maxx

Rio +20 the United Nation’s Conference on Sustainable Development June 20-22 climaxed around the solstice time, where it is the longest day of light from the USA perspective, and yet here in Brazil it most appropriately  grew to the darkest day, in more ways than the literal shortness of sunlight. About 50 thousand people came here to Rio De Janero from different parts of the world for the United Nations’ Rio+20. Many here seem to strive to shine the light of hope for our world leaders for this environmental conference to take powerful action for our future with enforceable binding global environmental policy. The conference’s theme titled, “The Future We Want,,”  became grew dark by the lack of action with an agreement for change.

The five minute speeches from each country’s world leader one by one acknowledged the urgency to overcome the darkness and address together economic growth, social development and environmental justice. Each put in their own words a common concern for our future and the common desire to take action towards change. Each leader seemed to share the concern about the state of the world, and the importance of environmental sustainability. At least the text agreed upon understood that water, energy, food security work together in unity. Each leader communicated the value of our natural resources. As US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton said, “We also know that future is not guaranteed, because the resources that we all depend upon – fresh water, thriving oceans, arable land, a stable climate – are under increasing pressure. And that is why, in the 21st century, the only viable development is sustainable development. The only way to deliver lasting progress for everyone is by preserving our resources and protecting our common environment”.  But what happened?

Are the systems we have created to govern change failed us or is the change taking place a subtle shift of power from the governments, inspiring a movement from within all people?  Within all structures we have set up for humanity—truly we could not expect one entity; the United Nations to provide the answer. All of humanity needs to rise to the importance of the challenge facing us at this critical time for our resources here on earth.

The action taken here, (or lack of) at  the  Rio+20 Summit in the end has left many, some governments and specifically the civil society in the dark— focused on the failure and disappointment of expectations for success, with the theme renamed, “The Future We Bought”… Unfortunately this sentiment provoked some extreme behavior that actually disrupted the UN process when sound interference was claimed to have prevented leaders to hear, and said to have been caused by NGO’s in protest.

A big distinction from the last time I was here in 1992 for the Earth Summit/ Global Forum is the beginning of integration of the civil society, and for that matter— all sectors. Back then it was like a collective fire of the spirit– a gathering of seemingly kindred souls all optimistic about the possibility of change and from that inspiration several pieces of global policy emerged for our environment eventually treaties on global warming, deserts and biodiversity— the first in the history of our world.

The concept of a World Team grew here in Rio +20 regardless of the outcome we can perceive, as there at least was an effort for teamwork with as Secretary Clinton explained this is what is needed now to approach the challenge:

“Officials from every level— from state, county, local, municipalities— together along with industry leaders and developers to find creative ways to generate sustainable economic growth. Governments, yes; let’s do our part. Let’s do more than our part. Let’s pave the way for more clean energy investments, take on the entrenched political and economic interests that stand in the way of clean energy, technology, and sources being used in nations around the world. Let’s use the private sector, particularly the consumer goods companies, as they have agreed to do, to make sure they have sustainable supply chains, the right kind of packaging and marketing that puts the least amount of burden on the earth we share. Let’s bring in the nonprofits, the civil society organizations, faith groups, individuals, all of us.”

What did come out of Rio +20 was a roadmap for sustainable development goals, under that there is an agreement made about preserving the ocean. By 2015 there will be an attempt for much needed policy for the High Seas.

Antonio Garcia Allut, represents the world wide small scale fishing community, he is the President of the Lonxanet Foundation for Artisanal Fishing. The fisheries are one of the areas progress was made here at Rio+20. He explains, “It is a step, but execution is the key”. Farmed Fisheries subsidies were cut and unfortunately the much needed attention to the trillion dollars of fossil fuel subsidies were left out entirely.

The outcome of Rio+20 is that 9 major groups participated. 692 registered countries. Commitments valued at 513 billion US dollars, were made— that is something. Leading Fortune 500 companies, universities, volunteer actions, and individual actions were also made. More than 100 developing nations are involved in the commitments. Mohamed Waheed, president of the Maldives, pledged in Rio to convert his entire nation, a string of islands in the Indian Ocean, into a protected area to conserve coral reefs, fish, turtles and sharks. The Maldives plans to be a marine reserve country. Waheed explained, “We have created our first biosphere reserve in one atoll and we will continue the program throughout the country.” 50 countries and 86 corporations, including and others agreed to a declaration supporting natural capital accounting, a measure of wealth that goes beyond GDP by including the value of natural assets such as soils, watersheds and fisheries. Eight multilateral banks will invest more than $175 billion over the next decade to promote more sustainable public transportation and cycling.

Carbon War room claimed 50%, reducing Aruba off fossil fuels by 2020. They committed to renovating buildings, and offered up 1 billion dollars in energy investments in buildings within the next 15 years.

The United Nations systems did come together to register commitments. Sustainable energy for all commitments, corporate sustainability summit commitments, yet all of these commitments— may be too little too late.