Tag Archives: President Obama

Historical Earth Day-15 Ratify, 175 U.N. Members Signed the Paris Agreement ©

By Suzanne Maxx
© 2016 World Team Now

Inside the United Nations looking out- Photo Credit World Team Now/Suzanne Maxx

Inside the United Nations looking out- Photo Credit World Team Now/Suzanne Maxx

 

New York, New York USA Today at the United Nations 175 Countries signed the Paris Climate Agreement on opening day, Earth Day! Our World Team project is especially grateful for the leadership on the first 15 United Nations members that both signed and Ratified the Paris Agreement by Earth Day.  This is a critical step to have the legal governmental framework for the revolutionary work to move towards our “100% Renewable Energy” global vision.

 

applaud-15

Original design  © 2016 World Team Now

 

The most vulnerable Small Island Developing States (SIDS) know the reality of Climate Change, ironically they have to bare the most severe effects of the most developed regions actions.  Secretary General of the United Nations Ban Ki Moon’s request for “All hands on deck,” from all U.N. members, comes to relevance especially in places like Fiji.



Fiji’s Prime Minister Josaia Voreqe (Frank) Bainimarama

Video: UN Web TV footage

 

Just recovering from Tropical Cyclone Winston, with another threat coming at them now, Fiji’s Prime Minister Josaia Voreqe (Frank) Bainimarama was front and center, contributing and bringing the gravel down to close the day’s session.  Republic of Palau’s President, Tommy Esang Remengesau Jr. captured the spirit of this time proclaiming,   “On days like this you feel like you are part of a team”.

World Team has been on a long journey and search for a location that is eager to make that renewable energy transition.  The Small Island Developing States (SIDS) need all the support we can give, and they hold the most promise for World Team project’s public work. SIDS are the most impacted and have the least. When we realize that over 62,000 people are displaced daily from climate or weather related events, it is stunning. Climate change refugees are growing. The funding coming from the Green Climate Fund (GCF) will help, but that support needs to have been there yesterday.

For the Paris Agreement to come into force, 55% of the UN’s members must sign and ratify it, and this must account for at least 55% of the global greenhouse gas emissions. All members have a year, until Earth Day 2017- but obviously, the sooner the better.

Each country created their own Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDC) for the Paris Agreement, their status is here. Next we need all the INDC to become Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC). These contributions are required to be ambitious and progressive, to be updated, increased, and submitted to the U.N. every five years.

The fundamental step of putting the governmental framework into place is happening; the nations are coming up with determined commitments for our species and our planet to help tackle the climate change challenge.  Although what was started in Paris in 2015 is growing with efforts like the Renewable Energy Innovation Plan for Africa; the 70 Initiatives to find a broader solutions; Mission Innovation for Green Technology, and the Carbon Pricing Leadership.  We all realize that this cannot be done by nations alone.

It will take many sectors to build to the change that is sustainable. The action of the signing sends signals to all markets. Some illuminating information was announced and shared over the course of the day. “Taking climate action to the next level: Realizing the vision of the Paris Agreement” was the title for the afternoon.

Key financial and business pledges are being made by entities teaming up to further the global goals of the Paris Agreement.  Anne Stausboll, representing CalPERS, the largest U.S. public pension fund with almost 300 billion dollars in assets gave the update; watch here. She shared that Ceres, a nonprofit organization leading adoption of sustainable business practices, has joined forces with the CalPERS pension fund, the UN-supported Principles for Responsible Investment, and the Global Investor Coalition on Climate Change. To mobilize the Paris Agreement, 400 investors with 24 trillion dollars in assets have been enrolled. “To achieve the goals of the Agreement, we know the world must invest at least one trillion dollars a year in clean energy for several decades,” she explained, “The Agreement has unleashed an unprecedented opportunity for institutional investors worldwide – a powerful global green light to shape tomorrow’s low-carbon economy.”

The Green Climate Fund which came out of the Paris Agreement is targeted to 100 billion a year in aid to developing countries. President Obama has pledged $3 billion to the GCF over four years. The first $500 million of that pledged amount was transferred. Countries are all together rising to action.  The efforts of the two biggest emitters USA/China is supported by their agreement to one another.

Canada addresses the Opening Ceremony of the High-Level Event for the Signature of the Paris Agreement

Canada addresses the Opening Ceremony of the High-Level Event for the Signature of the Paris Agreement
Credit: UN Photo

 

Canada’s Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, explained his country is committed to helping developing countries, “Since they should not be punished for a problem they did not create.” Canada’s  $2.56  Billion (USD) pledge is good kindling to ignite a fire of support to assist developing countries to grow to be cleaner, and more sustainable.

Hoesung Lee from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) shared about how they have accepted the task to integrate science into implementation phase and submit mission reports on “Climate Change and Land Use,” plus reports on “Ocean and Ice”.  In two years they will turn in a report that studies whether emissions targets of 1.5 degrees is the magic number that could halt the growing catastrophic effects of climate change, to see if that is indeed enough action. Private, public, businesses, NGOs financial sectors, and all citizens are all needed to team up, as people come to realize prompt action needs to begin now.

CEO of Unilever Paul Polman highlighted how the business and financial sector are lining up to address climate change:

A report by the New Climate Economy stated 90 trillion will be going to be made over the next 15 years in addressing urbanization and population growth issues and 13.5 trillion is already pledged for clean energy investments, which he said is a “good direction”.

The business and financial sector is making progress with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Unilever’s CEO emphasized that climate change is key to 13 of the 17 SDGs. Now to “level” (pun intended) the playing field with energy sectors.  Positive price signals are needed and a subsidy is a negative price signal. We love that the sentiment from Unilever’s leader who said, “That is a negative price on carbon when we need a positive price.” That statement was echoed throughout Earth Day from many speakers. The message to cut fossil fuel subsides, and create a carbon market was clear, and consistently delivered throughout all sectors on Earth Day.

Mary Robinson, former President of Ireland and renowned campaigner of human rights and climate justice. It was lovely to see most speakers wearing the pin with the logo of the colorful SDGs.

Mary Robinson, former President of Ireland and renowned campaigner of human rights and climate justice. It was lovely to see most speakers wearing the pin with the logo of the colorful SDGs. Picture: Captured from UN Web TV footage

 

Mary Robinson declared, “The world must target for 1.5 degrees or below rise and that requires carbon neutrality at, or before 2050. She was empathetic on pointing out that with the Paris Agreement, developing countries now have more responsibility in addressing climate change as each nation has to evaluate their NDCs— the annex 1 or annex 2 countries distinction made in the past is no longer …

Climate Opening

Opening ceremony of Paris Agreement signing
Credit: UN Photo

 

This year’s Earth Day had many events leading up to the big focus of 24 hours of U.N. festivities in New York.  Once again, there were powerful contributions from many of the people instrumental through the World Team journey— champions of the environmental movement over the many years coming together: especially California Gov. Jerry Brown, former US Vice President Al Gore, and even our friend Bertrand Piccard via live web stream from the cockpit of SolarImpulse2  in flight to San Francisco-the next leg of the around the world flight in the solar airplane!  Bertrand said, “More than protecting the environment, it’s the clean technology revolution, the solar airplane is like a smart grid with distributed energy”.  He encouraged leaders saying in the webstream, “Be pioneers for solutions, don’t let resistance take over…”

at the Waldof Astroia during REFF Wall Street in 2013, Andre and Bertrand with World Team Now's Suzanne Maxx.

Andre and Bertrand, pilots of Solar Impulse, with World Team Now’s Suzanne Maxx.

 

Actor, Activist and U.N. Messenger of Peace, Leonardo Di Caprio reminded leaders of their power in choice quoting President Lincoln, “Our case is new, so we must think a new, and act anew.”  He drew the parallel analogy of the defining issue of our time, between being free of fossil fuel, to the past, in being free from slavery. He explained, “Everyone knew it had to end, but no one had the political will to stop it.”  In regards to bold Climate action he exclaimed, “You will either be lauded by future generations, or vilified by them…”



Leonardo Di Caprio inspires leaders to create power for just action.
Video: UN Web TV footage

 

In addition to U.N. member states, states like California are taking significant action on their own. Once again, World Team Now based in New York and California was excited to hear from our Gov. Jerry Brown who spoke about some of the key steps that California has taken and will take— including their own cap and trade program that is also connected with Quebec and Ontario. Al Gore, in comments he made after the afternoon panel Jerry was on, pointed out that California’s leadership under Jerry is from a position of influence— he explained, “If California was a country it would be the 5th largest economy in the world.”



Governor Jerry Brown of California speaks at the Paris Agreement at signing at the United Nations on Earth Day April 22nd.
Video: UN Web TV footage

 

Some of the highlights from New York Mayor de Blasio’s speech shared the commitment to having every new car in New York’s City’s fleet being an electric with the goal of an electric fleet by the year 2025. Retrofits are required in both public and now private buildings and new buildings will have to be 60-80% more efficient than existing buildings.

In India, every light bulb is required to be LED, with the program launched by the government they have driven the cost down for the bulbs by economic demand, and now they are cheaper than other kinds of light bulbs, now priced about 80 cents and about 100 million have been installed  Germany plans to be fossil fuel free by 2050.

President Barack Obama welcomed the signing of the climate agreement and said it will allow all of “our children to inherit a cleaner, healthier, and safer planet.” He said in a statement on Earth Day, “As the world’s second-largest source of  climate pollution, America has a responsibility to act. The stakes are enormous — our planet, our children, our future.

John Kerry Signs Paris Agreement With Granddaughter on Lap High-Level Event for the Signature of the Paris Agreement

John Kerry Signs Paris Agreement With Granddaughter on Lap
High-Level Event for the Signature of the Paris Agreement
Credit: UN Photo

 

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, signed the historical agreement, ensuring it be witnessed by future generations by having his 2-year-old granddaughter Isabelle on his lap. Kerry followed up on President Obama’s Announcement which proclaims that the United States “looks forward to formally joining this agreement this year.”

The two largest carbon emitters, China and US have a plan, and together they look to be turning the tide to insure positive change . Regardless of USA domestic politics both countries have signed and plan to ratify the Paris Agreement.

It has been many years of attending these United Nations Climate events (COPs) dreaming that we could come to an agreement, sign it, and move into action. That day has come, it is here. World Team has been active with Earth Day for decades, but this was the first Earth Day that the distant dream for the global action by world leaders is being realized.

What an action packed period of time, this time has been, with record breaking action from countries around the world, and it’s about time. The pace is set we need for climate action, and the global renewable energy revolution, and it is happening, and it can’t happen quick enough. The 17 Sustainable Development Goals are all interrelated and helpful to have delineated. 



Secretary General of the United Nations Ban Ki Moons called for all hands on deck to: "Turn Aspiration Into Action" - Countries Sign Paris Climate Agreement.
Video: UN Web TV footage

 

It was lovely to see most speakers wearing the pin with the logo of the colorful SDGs. We are enthusiastic about the platform World Team will offer for all people as tool for engagement.  We can see this renewable energy revolution is happening, but it will take a team, all of us. We have much to celebrate, yet much to do for humanity to live in balance with our resources and one another here on earth.



United Nations - "Protecting our Planet and Combatting Climate Change" is part of a UN short film series "The Story You are Shaping" produced by HUMAN, which premiered at the UN Sustainable Development Summit 2015.
Video: UN Web TV footage

 

Photo highlights of of the UN High-Level Signature Ceremony for the Paris Agreement on Climate Change can be found here and a text highlights of the ceremony can be found here. Below are some selected UN videos of the Ceremony:

© 2016 World Team Now

“Key” Pres. Obama’s Veto of KeyStone XL Pipeline- ECO Legacy

Today, in defense for our environment and for all of us people on the planet, President Obama has exercised his USA Presidential power to veto the Keystone XL Pipeline, an important step in the movement towards an  “ECO” Presidential Legacy, powered by us people.

It’s disturbing that, at a time when all hands need to be on deck for humanity to live in balance with our resources on this planet, the USA Congress has forced President Obama to exercise his presidential power now,  instead of doing their job to create public policy, and laws that help govern our society and builds a vital nation better structuring  and organizing our quality of life. This 3rd veto is no surprise, as President Obama declared in his State of the Union Address, to veto this bill and others, that were not truly in the best interest for us all.

Tar sands in Alberta Canada

 

At this point, most of us understand why the Keystone Pipeline is not the “Key”. The tar sands (or oil sands) toxicity benefits no one, and at this point sadly we all know the words to this song, “Profit over People and Planet,” which is the cornerstone, or key stone, behind many who prioritize this now in our world.  Tar sands confront public health, at a time when we already have too many challenges with clean air to breath globally.  Keystone XL usurps the citizens’ human rights as property owners of Nebraska, South Dakota and other states that the pipeline goes through.  It questions their freedom, forcing them to sacrifice their own home, and farm land— for what? To transport oil from Canada through the USA for Mexico, or China –when all these regions, including the USA, can get our own clean renewable energy from natural sources?  Sounds reasonable?  It risks the quality of our water, earth, air, and presents the risks of contamination.

Is this an evolution of the US Constitution? Why is it even being considered at this moment and how could this be the “key”?  Who would this benefit?  Well, others have spent a great deal of time breaking down the motivation, and who benefits.  It is all very simple—some call it “cash whipping” it serves individual Congress members, many who were each paid over $200,000 to vote “yes,” and this “wolf in the sheep’s clothing” good sounding “Citizen’s United Bill” that has polluted one of the best pieces of public policy ever written; the USA Constitution.  Thanks to Citizen’s United which allows corporations to have equal rights with citizens and finance, monstrosities, like Keystone XL, to become a possibility, instead of a crime.  Tar sands projects at this time on our planet need to be illegal because they threaten the public health, of our species and all on our planet. But it also argues important legal issues about freedom at such a time— discerning people’s state’s, national, and planet interests. This moment in time affords the opportunity to redefine our priorities, and with the class action cases against Keystone XL Pipeline being argued at a state level in court, this indeed may be an opportunity to define how the United States unite and if they are a UNITED States of America.

At this time on the planet, will we get beyond “EGO”— can’t we move towards “ECO”—  ecology and economy.  At a time when we all need not only more sources of alternative renewable energy deployed, but resiliency, and sustainability with flow of energy.  The grid is taxed with more demand often than it can supply.  We need to be passing legislature that indeed incentivizes renewable energy sources, distributed energy architecture, and teaming-up on microgrids.  We need policy to incentivize net zero buildings and creative renewable energy systems, and energy storage, at a large scale.  We need more electric vehicles on the road charging to renewable energy sources, with complementary energy storage systems.  We need to crack that large scale energy storage nut, and incentivize not a pipeline transporting energy from one country to another through our country, but onsite energy systems that are reliable, resilient, and onsite electricity generation locations, homegrown energy from our natural resources, stored for backup when needed.

Why are we not trying to put bills on the table to work through our own energy challenges?  Bipartisan bills that have a chance of getting passed with the intent being to benefit the public— after all, are not politicians supposed to be public servants? It is a sad use of power that is spent stalling for time, until the power can move in another direction.  It all is a strategic, historical power play that at the end will only demonstrate how all systems, including the political system, could better serve us people and our planet.  The Keystone XL Pipeline will prove to be the pipe dream of this time, dreamt from the fallible EGO of Trans Canada bought through and approved by Congress, but fortunately it gives all people the opportunity to see the light, and the possibility of ECO.

“The pen is mightier than the sword”
—Edward Bulwer-Lytton  1839

Watch out world— 2015 plans to be a year of action, as mentioned prior, with the climax being President Obama as one of the leaders towards powerful global policy that stands for our people and planet over profit in Paris at UNFCC’s COP21.  Think it’s impossible?  Well we’ve seen a draft of what is on the table for global “ECO” policy, and there are better possibilities, even surprising ones, and if we all continue to team-up for the good of our planet we will create a global movement, and this isn’t a pipe dream or pipe line for any agenda accept our future.

Political System of the United States with its checks and balances

Thankful that the Unites States Constitution triune structure of checks and balances exists, but  it is confronting that it’s limits are being tested, and begs to question why it isn’t functioning more as a trinity— especially at this moment in humanity’s story on our planet earth.

President Obama will likely wait until the ruling from Nebraska’s state supreme court to finalize the rejection of the pipeline outright, which is the final step to closure.  A Nebraska county judge issued a temporary injunction to stop TransCanada from using eminent domain to force landowners to sell their property rights for the pipeline. As a result, TransCanada agreed not to use eminent domain anywhere in Nebraska until the state’s Supreme Court finally settles the legal struggle over Keystone’s route across the state, which if we have anything to do with all of this, it will be a moot point anyway.

For President Obama’s ECO legacy it began with the ARRA with renewable energy options, then granting EPA the power to defend public health as a national security issue and enforce environmental clean air policy. Fast forward to September 2014, nearly half a million of us people rallied for action on climate change in NYC; we were there at the UN General Assembly when President Obama shared with a small group of leaders at an Open Government Forum, that he had just discussed a historic climate deal with China to cut greenhouse gas emissions and in November it came to pass; in December, more than one million comments were submitted in support of the EPA’s Clean Power Plan; in January, historical protections for the Arctic Refuge were announced; and now President Obama has vetoed Congress’s bill to force the approval of the Keystone pipeline, now it is time to reject Trans Canada’s plans for Keystone XL Pipeline outright will you please add your name to tell President Obama to just outright reject the Keystone XL Pipeline? Please sign here.

It is time to make sure; “We the People”–have an ECO legacy, a time to re-organize, and prioritize by bringing the temptation of this folly to public presenting the clarity of choices driven by EGO vs. ECO. Best left in the words of Sir Walter Scott’s poem, “Breathes there the Man” 

 

Nelson Mandela’s Heroic Leadership

nelson-mandelaNelson Mandela’s leadership is so admirable, and his life’s journey— heroic, and inspirational. When describing the acronym in World T.EA.M. Madiba, (Nelson Mandela’s clan name) was one of the people I used as an example for explaining A.ction. It was his choice to act for freedom at all costs, that set him apart from others.   Madiba was willing to use his life force for a greater truth then oneself only, or his own immediate family – a rare quality. Madiba gave of his T.ime, E.nergy, A.ction and M.oney. Madiba will live on in us with respect for redefining true freedom.  This is a freedom that lives in our hearts, an actual freedom standing courageously with reverence for the end to apartheid, and for a virtuous freedom that would embrace forgiveness.  This kind of forgiveness has self-sacrifice within it, and allows peace to reign within. His humility shined a light that was so bright it would elevate him to not just lead a movement, but as a former prisoner, lead a country. He stood for truth and persevered, living true to the virtues of a real life hero, an icon and living saint;

“I ‘m not a saint, unless you think of a saint as a sinner who keeps on trying,” President Obama recalled him saying.

Coaches2.qxdMadiba personally inspired World Team, with his stand for both social and environmental justice. We had planned Madiba would be a coach when we were up and running with the World Team media platform.  I could be stopped by the people who have crossed, who we had planned to be part of World Team, but instead they inspire, and as learned from Madiba, dreams, can be realized.  I pray that at least a little of the light that you were able to shine on the world will come through our actions for change.  Madiba, we are left here knowing that we have much work to do, by your example– to flesh out your vision for a free, equal, and just world, that lives in reverence of our natural resources; and one another.

 

 

In advance of Nelson Mandela’s funeral service on Sunday in Qunu, South Africa, these respected leaders His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Reverend Mpho Tutu, the first female Irish president, Mary Robinson, and Sir Richard Branson came together for a digital eulogy and shared using Google+ Hangouts.

President Obama’s speech at Madiba’s Memorial was indeed one of those moment where he communicated  the spirit and virtues that were written within USA’s original constitution,  upholding the premise of freedom.

 

MandelaSSPX0114 We are blessed that his legacy will live on in our hearts, with so many books and charities he had supported. Around the world  tribute, and honor continues to pour out in honor of Madiba, Nelson Mandela– to a life given in service,  that change our world!

 

President’s Day – “Move Into Action”

© Copyright World Team Now

From the last three day week end Martin Luther King Jr.’s Birthday, and the Inauguration, the Green Movement is gaining momentum in the USA. On Wednesday February 13th, 48 of our friends and allies made international news by risking arrest at the White House gates protesting the Keystone XL pipeline. The next day, two Senators introduced a powerful new climate bill with a path forward on climate. Now tomorrow, during President’s day week end, the momentum continues with a historical march. It was great to jump start this New Year and Presidential term by the Clean Energy and Environmental Ball in Washington, D.C.!  Here’s a souvenir album.

Congressman Ed Markey, World Team Now’s Suzanne Maxx, Chip Cummings of AREDAY at the Clean Energy and Environment Inaugural Ball, Washington, DC

The highlight was time with Congressman Ed Markey who we deeply respect as World Team Now stands in alignment with him on several energy, environment and social issues.

It’s time for action.  To use our inherit wisdom to change the things we can, and we have a choice about our energy sources. President Obama said in his State of the Union Address:

“But for the sake of our children and our future, we must do more to combat climate change”. Yes, it’s true that no single event makes a trend. But the fact is, the 12 hottest years on record have all come in the last 15. Heat waves, droughts, wildfires, and floods – all are now more frequent and intense. We can choose to believe that Superstorm Sandy, and the most severe drought in decades, and the worst wildfires some states have ever seen were all just a freak coincidence. Or we can choose to believe in the overwhelming judgment of science – and act before it’s too late.

The good news is, we can make meaningful progress on this issue while driving strong economic growth. I urge this Congress to pursue a bipartisan, market-based solution to climate change, like the one John McCain and Joe Lieberman worked on together a few years ago. But if Congress won’t act soon to protect future generations, I will. I will direct my Cabinet to come up with executive actions we can take, now and in the future, to reduce pollution, prepare our communities for the consequences of climate change, and speed the transition to more sustainable sources of energy.

Four years ago, other countries dominated the clean energy market and the jobs that came with it. We’ve begun to change that. Last year, wind energy added nearly half of all new power capacity in America. So let’s generate even more. Solar energy gets cheaper by the year – so let’s drive costs down even further. As long as countries like China keep going all-in on clean energy, so must we.”

To read whole State of the Union Address, click here.

This President’s Day is the opportunity for action.    We are hoping that President Obama will leave an environmental legacy of true change. For him to do that, we have to do our part:  prove there is a large constituency of people who are demanding this change.  Then he will be able to answer with action. He has said numerous times, “push me”.  He is our leader and in a true Democracy a leader will serve the needs of the people.  Not just some people, but all of the people.  We, the people, have to communicate, and demonstrate our needs.  Especially in this grid-locked bi-partisan congress, where corporate lobbyists control the action, or rather block action.  Let’s give President Obama a chance in this term where he can take action to leave a legacy of a leader, and do his job.  In the best interest of public welfare and safety he can exercise his executive power.  It is President Obama’s job to answer the needs demonstrated by the people.  This is why we need you…

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=00W58FFCQyk&list=PL5gVc1ti66MFARa3fEhtei0rtcNg71FsZ&feature=player_embedded]

Tomorrow the environmental movement will rally to show its strength in numbers for the support of change, we haven’t seen organizing of this scale since Martin Luther King led the Civil Right March, and shared “I Have a Dream”.  Many of us have a dream now too:   a dream where energy is sourced from wind, solar and tidal and other renewable energy.

Calling all ROLLER SKATERS to join the movement

Calling all ROLLER SKATERS to join the movement

If you don’t know about the demand to stop the Key Stone XL Pipeline, click here. To understand the implications, and risks to our water, air and earth, read on here.  The Key Stone XL Pipeline which has started construction needs to be stopped, for our collective future and the safety of our public at large.  If you still want to go down to Washington, D.C.,  here are the details.  Our friends at the Sierra Club, 350.org, and the Hip Hop Caucus got some great sponsors and have teamed up with many other non-profit organizations as well.  They have over 130 buses coming from 28 states, and tens of thousands of people signed up for Sunday’s rally with the goal to make history.

World Team Now is calling all skaters to join the LA March tomorrow skaters join the LA March tomorrow February 17th — here are the details. Bring your wheels, we need to stand tall to show our movement and be counted. Here are some ideas for signs, click here for a sign kit.  Make your own, here are some suggestions for wording: “Rolling Forward  Go Solar!”, “Rolling Forward  Go Wind!” and “Rolling Forward  Go, Tidal Energy!”.

The political system needs the voices of the people to truly affect policy.  We need to demonstrate the change, we all know it is a fragile time in our world, and the choices we make will create our future home for our children.  So how do we leave a legacy to inherit an earth with clean water, air, and clean energy sources?  Take action, do your part, as Gandhi once declared, “Be the change we want to see in the world”.  Want to be part of the team?

Forward on Climate

If you can’t be there now for this one, in LA or Washington,  D.C., please at least schedule a post to Twitter or Facebook with Thunderclap: www.thunderclap.it/projects/1189-move-america-forwardonclimate

The “Green” Inaugural Weekend with World Team Now

Martin Luther King

Martin Luther King Jr. who is also celebrated this week end declared, “I Have a Dream”….  His dream changed the world with his words, inspiration and “Call’. This Inauguration we are hopeful that President Obama will use his term to achieve some much needed milestones for our environment,  and our people in this nation.

However it is unreasonable to expect any politician with the present political system to change the nation alone,  but with all of our help, transformation of the world is possible. We only ask that President Obama can live into his greatest potential, and realize a higher Call.

Regardless of party or partisanship, here we are, and we have choices about the kind of earth we want the future generations to inherit.  We have some serious issues up in our nation and our world; There are things to change in defense for our earth in the USA that others in the environmental movement are focused on like; “The Keystone EXL Pipeline,” “The Nuclear Waste Situation”, the “Nuclear Power Safety” issue, “Natural Gas Fracking”, ‘Granting Permits for Drilling Oil in Wildlife Refuges”, and places like the Antarctic, “Farm Fisheries” and “GMO Food”.  Teaming up together is the key.

World Team Now is primarily focused on the issues to stand up for— we are on the offense— like “Protecting Clean Air”, “Clean Water”, and “Permitting of Large Scale Renewable Energy Projects” such as “Tidal’, “Wind”, “Solar”, and “Geothermal ” energy campaigns, demonstration projects, and educating the public. Let’s help fulfill the “Electric Vehicle” goal set out last term, and fast-track “Charging Infrastructure” and “Energy Storage”.   World Team Now supports “Clean Transportation”, “Net Zero Buildings” with demonstration projects that use fewer resources, for more efficiency, and ideally are designed with natural resources in mind. Let’s stand together for protecting “Endangered Species,” and loving all.  Let’s include the whales and dolphins and different species, and people in different parts of world.  We can be a World Team Now.

The change needed is daunting, we need both offense and defense– but here is where we plan to start this weekend.

Our three day week end kicks off with Beach Clean Up at Zuma Beach, Malibu CA for the National Day of Service (sign up here to RSVP and for more details)

National Day of Service

Join us in honor of this National Day of Service at our local Zuma Beach, Malibu! Meet up at the main Life Guard Headquarters (near Morning View). Bring comfortable shoes, bags and gloves.

All wheels are welcome— skates, blades, boards, and bikes! Let’s clean up the beach and demonstrate clean transportation! Come to the beach in a clean mode of transportation please— EV, hybrid, walk, or bike— if you can!

After this, there is another LA event that goes much of the day and into the evening  to encourage President Obama to make it a “Green Term”.   Find a local event to participate in the National Day of Service.

Environment & Clean Energy Ball

Pull out the formal wear, and grab your dancing shoes… If  you would like to be rather spontaneous and join for the Environmental and Clean Energy Inaugural Ball, in Washington D.C., here is the invite.    World Team Now was invited to co-host this Environmental and Clean Energy Inaugural Ball that is a bipartisan event.

Green BallYes, there is another “Green” Inaugural Ball on Sunday night that if we gather enough of a team of friends, we are considering.

One must be very present to move on this one with short notice, contact us at info@worldteamnow.org ASAP if interested.  (We get a group discounted rate.)

Wondering how to pull a Cinderella?  So are we! The gowns-to-go concept might help a little with runway rentals— regardless it is a good find, as you are. Thanks for being part of this team and taking the time to read what we are up to and hopefully join in— to “Teaming Up” on a wing and a prayer!  If nothing else keep up with us on Facebook—”liking us” helps us grow.

Non-sense: the nuclear path

It’s impossible to engineer for  “Black Swans” *  from Fukushima we are reminded that the risk of nuclear energy is too great whether analyzed from a public health, safety, or security perspective. Obama’s budget proposal for 2011 would add $36 billion in new federal loan guarantees to $18.5 billion already budgeted but not spent – for a total of $54.5 billion. The new $8.3 billion in federal loan guarantees will go toward the construction and operation of a pair of reactors in Burke County, Ga., by the Southern Co. Federal loan guarantees are needed to spur construction of new reactors because of the huge expense. This puts the US taxpayer at risk given the industry’s record of cost overruns and loan defaults. The argument about the cost causes bi-partisan combustion, but regardless the cost conversation is mute and overridden by the underlying risk. World Team Now ‘s stand is that is time to pause to reflect upon and consider giving this kind of funding/subsidies and loan guarantees to the renewable energy sector instead. This could jump start tidal energy, and geothermal energy or build out an infrastructure for new transmission sources. Keep in mind the fission spectrum from radiation released in a nuclear power plant has a longer life than the radiation release from a nuclear bomb.  It would be wise to re-examine the action of the Health Ministry that raised the legal limit of radiation on March 15 to 250 millisieverts, when 100 millisieverts per year was the maxim prior to the Fukushima crisis – and that amount was already controversial.  There is much to consider now, regarding the nuclear situation: Our children & Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant’s effect on people:

Sellafield Nuclear Power Plant threatened:

USA Hanford Nuclear Power Plant (photos):

USA PA. PPL Susquehanna nuclear power plant shut down:

USA MA. Plymouth Rock Rally this week end:

Controversy about radiation in Fukushima units 1-4:

In the South of France, nuclear catastrophe reviewed:

Suggestion by MIT is being taken seriously:

Mass extinction, US west coast contamination, and other perspectives:

Bird shuts down Ukraine reactor:

Elementary Commercial video on the basics of the beginning of the melt down:

Radiation bioaccumulation:

This requires a sense of humor:

USA to bring back building of nuclear power plants:

*”Black Swans” are perfect storm disasters that engineers  can’t reasonably design to cost-wise and can occur at rates that take engineers by surprise (“fat tails”) .

Living Terror

bomb

Photo Courtesy of National Nuclear Security Administration / Nevada Site Office

“Don’t bother me with your conscientious scruples, the thing is superb physics!” –Enrico Fermi’s quote is analyzed byJeffrey Lewis from Wonk Arms Control .  Jeffrey continues to inspire and captures the depth necessary to contemplate where we are in humanity with intelligent information about issues of significance.   It is terrifying to realize that each nuclear power plant with stock piles of stored radioactive rods has the potential to have the  similar results as a nuclear bomb.  We are facing that now with Fukushima. What could distract us more from the reality of Fukushima’s nuclear radiation spreading than the death of Osama Bin Laden?  Not much.  News is not only fickle and biased towards being new, and the first with the catchiest headlines hooking us with stories that superficially appease society’s limited attention span, and like junk food, fulfill an immediate gratification cycle.  When will global significance have the relevant place with depth, media coverage and public information deserved?  The situation is approached with depth from a philosophical and spiritual perspective in this article, “Energy and Our Future with Earth“. Below are some topics and links that hopefully help to better understand “the situation” that many believe to be over, regarding the radiation at Fukushima, Japan.  Radiation is a real challenge as we can not see the effect it has or it’s presence. When it comes to our resources like water, air and our earth why is this not #1 for us all?  If we don’t have these resources, we can’t survive, so why is this not a priority?  Maybe the responsibility is too difficult to embrace—perhaps it’s like the “Titanic,” we realize (even if unconsciously) that we might as well have a party while we are sinking—if it is going to sink anyway.  That is the only way empathy can be given to humanity’s lack of willingness to be educated on this serious environmental situation.  Yes, it is difficult to look at this, but awakening to the truth is a way transformation and lasting change can occur. Fukushima is far from over;

Fukushima meltdown confirmed by experts around the world confirming gov’ts wrong (video interviews):
Here is the IAEA’s report for today:
Video proves there is still water in storage pools:
Concrete emitting 900, 000 msl per hr;
Radioactive water release hits new heights;
Just the fact on reactors:
Domestic nuclear situation:
Ethics & discovery of nuclear fission quotes:

It’s Time to End Reliance on Nuclear Power

World Team Now board members joined a coalition to give  President Obama, members of his Administration, and all members of the U.S. Congress a letter regarding the Fukushima nuclear accident in Japan.  The letter was initiated by the Sustainable Energy Network comprised of 146 safe energy advocate organizations and businesses.

Operation Upshot-Knothole, BADGER Event

Photo courtesy of National Nuclear Security Administration / Nevada Site Office

   
JAPANESE NUCLEAR ACCIDENT – A TRAGIC REMINDER;

IT’S LONG PAST THE TIME TO END RELIANCE ON NUCLEAR POWER

March 25, 2011

President Barack Obama
The White House
Washington, DC 20500

Dear President Obama:

We, the 146 undersigned safe energy advocates, have been speaking out about the risks and dangers posed by nuclear power for years – for many of us, since before the 1986 Chornobyl* and 1979 Three Mile Island accidents as well as the hundreds of other radioactive releases, unplanned shut-downs, and other mishaps that have continuously plagued both the U.S. and the international nuclear industries since their founding.

While nuclear power’s unacceptable safety, environmental, public health, economic, and national security risks should have been self-evident long before now, the latest unfolding nuclear disaster in Japan once again underscores the following:  

Nuclear plants can never be designed to withstand all potential “acts of God.”

Nuclear plants can never be designed to withstand all instances of “human error.”

Nuclear plants can never be designed to withstand all types of “mechanical malfunction.”

Nuclear plants can never be designed to withstand all forms of “terrorist attack.”

There is no such thing as “safe” nuclear power.

There is no such thing as “clean” nuclear power.

There is no such thing as “cheap” nuclear power.

Consequently, the Price-Anderson cap on liability in the event of an accident should be repealed, all proposed governmental financial and regulatory incentives for new nuclear plant construction – including loan guarantees, accelerated licensing, and inclusion in a “clean energy standard” – should be rejected, and no new reactors should be built.

Existing nuclear reactors should be phased out as rapidly as possible, beginning with the oldest and/or most unsafe, and no presently-licensed reactors should have their operating lives extended.

Safety standards for existing reactors should be substantially tightened while they continue to operate and federal nuclear funding should be redirected to the orderly phase-out of those reactors as well as the safe decommissioning of closed reactors and disposal of radioactive waste.

National energy policy and funding should be refocused on greatly improved energy efficiency and the rapid deployment of renewable energy sources which are far cleaner, safer, and cheaper than nuclear power.

—————-

This letter was signed by World Team Now Board Members; Albert Boulanger, Director of Technical Strategy; Walter Andrews  Director of Energy and the Environment and Suzanne Maxx Founder,President, Exec. Director.

To see the press release, the letter with signatories, and the  list of  initial recipients- click here.  A copy of the letter also went to media outlets and these governmental representatives;

cc.      Steven Chu, Secretary – U.S. Department of Energy

            Ken Salazar, Secretary – U.S. Department of Interior

           Gregory Jaczko, Chairman – U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission

           Kristine Svinicki, Commissioner – U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission

            George Apostolakis, Commissioner – U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission

            William Magwood, Commissioner – U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission

            William Ostendorff, Commissioner – U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission

            Lisa Jackson, Administrator – U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

            Jon Wellinghoff, Chairman – Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

            Philip Moeller, Commissioner – Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

            Marc Spitzer, Commissioner – Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

            John Norris, Commissioner – Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

            Cheryl LaFleur, Commissioner – Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

            John Holdren, Director White House Office of Science & Technology

           Nancy Sutley, Chair – White House Council on Environmental Quality

            Peter B. Lyons, DOE Acting Assistant Secretary for Nuclear Energy

 * Chernobyl  is the correct Ukrainian spelling of what many of us know as “Chernobyl,” the Russian spelling.  Since the nuclear accident site is in Ukraine and the official spelling in that country is “Chornobyl,” that is what we opted for here, as it is the most authentic.    


Now is the Time-Copenhagen COP15

By Suzanne Maxx

The Count Down to Copenhagen which we had posted on World Team Now’s Website is over, now is the time…. Left with dusty remnants of older blog conversations, “Think Global, Act for All, preparing for  COP15. Now you too, have the opportunity to participate at Copenhagen; at the bottom of our home page there are links to take you to Copenhagen, COP15 webcasts and bring you virtually there, without the travel.

The much anticipated COP15 conference officially began yesterday, for us at World Team Now, and all others committed to the environmental movement this event holds the possibility of bearing witness to a historical moment in our world; The possibility of a global treaty’s framework around Climate Change agreed to by 192 Countries around the world, is present—with our future at stake.

The meeting could be named “Last Chance for Humanity” but the official title is the 15th Conference of the Parties — in reference to all part of the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) referred to commonly as, COP15.  Let’s hope the force of “COP15” can regulate like the acronym’s word, in regards to environmental justice.

More than 15,000 people made up of delegates, NGO’s and press gathered in Copenhagen for the opening of the conference.  Cultural experiences gave those good feeling chills, with inspirational speeches, a performance of  “All life is your life”, composed and accompanied by legendary Danish jazz trumpet player Palle Mikkelborg, and a short film, “Please Help the World,” about the nightmare of non-action- from a child’s perspective.

Unfortunately for much of the world, the understanding of Climate Change, and the way it has been presented in the media, has left most people at best confused, thinking that this UN Conference in Copenhagen might be futile; however the exact opposite may indeed be true. As if to highlight the point at the start of the Copenhagen climate conference, 56 newspapers from around the world published a joint editorial on Dec. 7th that urged world leaders to take steps that can limit rising temperatures.

“Kicking our carbon habit within a few short decades will require a feat of engineering and innovation to match anything in our history,” says the joint editorial. “But whereas putting a man on the moon or splitting the atom were born of conflict and competition, the coming carbon race must be driven by a collaborative effort to achieve collective salvation.”

Life happens, and I had planned to be there in Copenhagen today for the conference opening, and to be aligned with President Obama’s originally scheduled visit, on assignment for ENS.  It was fortunate President Obama changed his schedule participation to the 18th of December.  But I did not anticipate a press conference held right here in the US by EPA’s Administrator Lisa Jackson, to be the place of action today, so here’s to timing! This was bold action timed well to motivate the world to get down to some specific measurable results—for transformation.  Lisa Jackson spoke with clarity about the Climate Challenge in her speech today, (click here);

“The overwhelming amounts of scientific study show that the threat is real – as does the evidence before our very eyes. Polar ice caps crumbling into the oceans, changing migratory patterns of animals and broader ranges for deadly diseases, historic droughts, more powerful storms, and disappearing coastlines”.

But now after public response, Lisa Jackson demonstrated EPA is ready for action signing two distinct findings on December 7th,  “ I’m proud to announce that EPA has finalized its endangerment finding on greenhouse gas pollution, and is now authorized and obligated to take reasonable efforts to reduce greenhouse pollutants under the Clean Air Act.
She explained, “In 2007, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down perhaps the most significant decision ever reached in environmental law. The Court ruled that the Clean Air Act, the landmark 1970 law aimed at protecting our air, is written to include greenhouse gas pollution.

This administration will not ignore science or the law any longer, nor will we avoid the responsibility we owe to our children and grandchildren. Today this long-overdue finding cements 2009’s place in history as the year when the United States Government began seriously addressing the challenge of greenhouse gas pollution and seizing the opportunity of clean-energy reform.

This action by EPA today says literally and symbolically that the US is taking Climate Change seriously, by proving that Green House Gasses (GHG) are indeed a public health threat and under the clean air act this gives EPA the authority and jurisdiction to regulate.   This declaration holds the possibility of power being exerted from top down, if it can’t be done from the ideal bottom up legislature on energy.  An Energy Bill has gone through the House, but the Energy Bill is stuck being debated in the Senate. The US needs more than image now, calling for action and now it looks to be within EPA’s power to regular not vehicles, and new construction, but also on new manufacturing facilities, if necessary.

I doubt that many anticipated this kind of bold action here on Climate Change from the US, who has a history of holding the rest of the world back from ratifying our first global agreement signed by all countries of our world since two generations of President Bushs’ (beat it around the..), when it was first named “The Climate Treaty,” at The Earth Summit in Rio, and when it grew into “The Kyoto Protocol”. May EPA inspire all working for an agreement in Copenhagen with the confidence that bigger forces are at work, and anything is possible in the US now..

“Every positive announcement will improve our chances of staying below the 2°C target,” said Danish minister Connie Hedegaard, who is presiding over the Copenhagen summit. “But we all know only too well, we are not there yet.

The set up leading to President Obama’s interaction at the end with the Conference with a team of policy experts  all working towards an agreement, and the US.gov with EPA team hosting over 70 events in Copenhagen, is quite a strategy for something powerful..

The US is taking steps to redeem global respect.   The possibility is a “home run”, with the bases loaded from the preceding work done.  Inside the hearts of many who empower President Obama with high virtues, virtues that collectively inspired great leaders of the USA to write the documents like, “The Constitution of the United States“, virtues that are at the core of “The Universal Declaration of Human Rights”, virtues that could reflect the soul of our world striving to live in balance with our resources.   Could the US inspire now? The stage will be set after this period of the conference for Obama to take a swing at global transformation having just received this Noel peace prize with the world’s eyes on him,  he will have the opportunity to demonstrate his stand for peace, and change with ideals he founded his campaign with, “Yes, we can”, by taking action at COP15 when many had given up on any specific measurable results.  He will have a chance to lead with the Light of respect, with the spotlight of the global stage shining on COP15 to stand for the highest good of our world.

Now for humanity’s sake let’s hope our timing and our efforts made, to come up with the first binding global treaty, that the whole world adopts, happens in time to bring  future generations a world they deserve.

Copenhagen”Off Sets” –The Big Picture Game

Courtesy of NASA

Courtesy of NASA

 

Copenhagen Cont’d. 

Think Global: Act Local Act for ALL

by Suzanne Maxx

 

We put the countdown to Copenhagen’s Climate Conference up on World Team Now’s website with exactly how much time we have left, because of the mounting pressure to have some specific measurable results in Copenhagen (UNFCCC).  The importance of raising awareness about this critical global treaty for our world is palpable — especially now before the Kyoto Protocol expires in 2012 as per the road map created in Bali, approved by the 2007 UN Climate Change Conference.  There are several events designed to increase the chances of Copenhagen’s success from the UN’s framework; one announced at G20 by President Obama.  The USA will host a “Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate” in a preparatory session with 16 major economies, April 27th & 28th in Washington DC. to help facilitate a U.N. agreement on global warming according to The White House, inviting both “developed” and “developing” counties. The U. N. scheduled events leading up to Copenhagen, the first round was March 29th –April 8th, the others are June 1st-12th and then August 10th-14th all of these in Bonn, Germany; September 28th-October 9th in Bangkok and last November 2nd-6th with the location to be confirmed.  In addition to these events Media Mogul turned Prime Minister, Silvio Berlusconi will host a conference in La Maddalena, Italy in July, riding G8. These events intend to strengthen communications, and step up points of agreement such as deforestation and clear cutting of tropical rainforests, global levels we can cut carbon emissions that will at least create sustainability, a deadline date, and a plan for enforceability, all so the Summit in Copenhagen we will end up with a global treaty with targets that are reasonable.  So far the areas of agreement are around clear cutting our trees and rainforests, the precious lungs of our planet — the logging and burning of which accounts for a fifth of CO2 pollution. When I flew over these sites of deforestation I wept with the pain of baring witness to a massacre.

 

There is a need for a leadership position here amongst all the countries that are members of the UN that demand “the lead by example” model of accountability. With the help of some behind the scenes experts and people who have spend years in the financial world designing a market made of “carbon off sets”, or the cost of pollution, like the UK & USA team, Blood and Gore-they have a first movers advantage as does the USA now with “green” opportunity.  I am not sure if China’s push for a global currency reserve should be dismissed easily. This is one of the first times in my life since beginning World Team in 1989, which I have not been embarrassed about being born in the United States, since embarking on this mission.  Obama’s stand for change shows he is willing to pick up where Gore left off with regards to the environment, and to carve out an action plan by 2012 on the premise of the Carbon offset game that would auction the U.S.’ emission trading credits and cut back  to 1990 emission levels by 2020. The Dec 7-18 conference will map out what is next for the future with an emission reduction plan, and hopefully spell out a game of carbon credits, wherein the caps-and-trade are offsets and will become a global market with commodities that will re-value and transform our monetary system, but with new legislation, if all goes according to plan.

In time for the events that happened in Bonn this March and perhaps going by the “big picture” plan, Chairman Henry A. Waxman of the Energy and Commerce Committee and Chairman Edward J. Markey of the Energy and Environment Subcommittee drafted clean energy legislation for the USA. The American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009 (ACES) is a comprehensive approach to America’s energy policy that charts a new course towards a clean energy economy.  According to Waxman, “The American Clean Energy and Security Act” will create millions of new clean energy jobs, save consumers hundreds of billions of dollars in energy costs, enhance America’s energy independence, and cut global warming pollution and for more detailed information visit the Committee on Energy and Commerce’s site .

The stakes are high, it is our future and if you still don’t believe all the scientists who have proven that our planet is warming by human activities, NASA‘s look and this new report from the National Snow and Ice Data Center shows the decade-long trend of shrinking sea ice cover is continuing at a surprisingly fast rate. New evidence from satellite observations show ice caps thinning as well. Researchers from the Snow and Ice Center report the largest cover this winter was 278-thousand square miles less than the average largest cover for 1979 to 2000, making this winter’s maximum ice extent the fifth lowest on record. They explain, “Arctic sea ice works like an air conditioner for the global climate system. It naturally cools air and water masses, plays a key role in ocean circulation, and reflects solar radiation back into space. Scientists believe ice cover to be an important measure of the health of the Arctic.  Look at the vanishing ice to bear witness to the change of our earth. 

 If you are wonder what you can do about all of this besides trying to understand it, join World Team Now, and allow the synergy of team to move us all into a responsible future, and join us in celebrating Earth Day,