Tag Archives: Suzanne Maxx

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.

 

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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

“Groundhog Day All Over Again”

© by Suzanne Maxx 2-2-2016

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It’s Groundhog Day! Today the Groundhog has not seen his shadow, so we can “SPRING” past winter! This is according to Punxsutawney Phil, and a team of other Groundhogs, in different locations.

Today, the energy sector mirrors the Groundhog Day’s dynamic, not seeing the shadow, overcome by light! Fossil fuel drops further, till #100%RenewableEnergy is global.  This is the kind of global Groundhog Day that deserves repeating!

“The energy sector reflects #GroundhogDay dynamic, shadow-fossil fuel shares drop, light #100%RenewableEnergy grows!” WorldTeam1 wrote on Twitter. Does it sounds like we said this before? Well, “Yes.”–it’s Groundhog Day, and we will repeat! May this reality repeat.

The iconic movie, “Groundhog Day” is one of our favorite comedies- forever, and we are not alone. Today, this must see comedy too deserves repeating, and if you have never seen it before, it is a “must see” film.

“Groundhog Day” lives now not just as a weather, or community ritual to predict when the winter ends and spring comes.  Groundhog Day has grown into a collective expression.  The expression “Groundhog Day” refers to a situation that repeats until it changes.

We reflect on the core stages of awareness with the movie Groundhog Day. Each time when the situation repeats, there is growth. When the situation stops repeating altogether, then there is total transformation, and freedom from the past.  Sound familiar?  Watch to see hedonism transcended  or uncover many religious, moral and ethical principles through Groundhog Day’s stages of awareness that reflect upon life’s spiritual journey. Dig deeper and you’ll see hints of Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics and Elisabeth Kübler-Ross’ principles on death and dying–All played out in a comedic way in the movie Groundhog Day.

May this Groundhog Day dynamic repeat until we have reached 100% renewable energy globally. Power to the People shows, we can participate in renewable energy power generation.  Our energy’s source of power can be in balance with our resources. Let’s do it, and REPEAT! “Groundhog Day” is true for us too, “Living Into A World  Team”! Let’s play to transform ourselves and our world.

Basic CMYK

 

 

 

Bird’s Eye View of the Climate Movement ©

By Suzanne Maxx

Eiffel Tower Peace Symbol - 100% Renewable 06.12.15 © Yann Arthus-Bertrand _ Spectral Q

A Message of Freedom and 100% Renewable Energy from Paris. Hundreds from around the world unite in a giant message of freedom, standing with the people of Paris and calling for 100% renewable energy, during the United Nations COP21 Climate Summit. Can you spot us? We from World Team Now made up the rays on the left side of the image. Photo by Yann Arthus-Bertrand / Spectral Q

COP21’s victory signals to the world that global transformation is in the works with adoption of the Paris Agreement by the United Nations.  It’s historical to have almost 200 nations agree to take action, “Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development” a UN goal.

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COP21 Convention Space at Le Bourget.

Those of us breathing inside of the global climate movement over the years know this moment is a win— a valuable step and an important place to start.   At Le Bourget, the French Foreign Affairs Minister, Laurent Fabius brought his green gravel down to tears of joy and applause for the agreement exclaiming, “It’s a small gavel, but I think it has a big impact!” With the perspective getting diverse entities consisting of countries from different regions of the world to agree on anything is significant. We at least have set a course and direction together.  Many of the outcomes we considered in our prior blog post were covered in this agreement.  Here is the text of the Paris Agreement. Here it is made simple to digest. Here are some more of our favorite articles and speeches, that break this historic time of the Paris Agreement down to understand:

Within the global environmental movement, there are many people that have been on the journey for decades— each of us has a piece of this puzzle— that are core to who we are, and it lives outside the boundaries of a location, as it is for our earth, and all of humanity.  This consciousness is now becoming contagious, thankfully— as it will take teams of people, industries and many sectors of society for the transformation to take root.

The stage is set for our World Team project, and next year 2016, we plan to be public facing with our World Team platform.  World Team will be an interactive tool to entertain us while playfully engaged in transformative projects achieving the realization of our most ambitious and collective goals for humanity, and our planet earth. It is not only technology, innovation, policy and funding that will change the global game of our changing climate. The game starts to change when all people are aware of the power of human capability of choice. Change will occur when we choose to prioritize how we use both our internal and external energy.  When we prioritize living in better balance with our resources, we will then play the game to transform ourselves and our world.

The co-located Climate Generations Areas, open to all,  was a first for the COP meetings. In prior COPs, Civil Society had open side events  that were distant from the UN negotiations.

Even in celebration there is caution that clouds this historical time, which finally acknowledges humanity’s role in climate change, and sets forward a plan of action. If we can’t get to 1.5 degrees, stop destroying our forests, heating and acidifying our oceans and eliminate burning fossil fuel today we are writing ourselves a death sentence. The framework is now in place to start the journey to arrive there tomorrow— it was a successful negotiation.   As Secretary General of the United Nations Ban Ki-Moon said, “This a time when we need all hands on deck”.  Multiple sectors are taking active roles in also setting targets, and here is the key; team work, over time, with ALL of us in action. This thread was there at the events happening at COP21 during this time in Paris.

Akapusi Tuifagalele Director National Disaster Management of Fiji, a SIDS

Akapusi Tuifagalele, Director National Disaster Management of Fiji (SIDS), with Suzanne Maxx & Albert Boulanger of the World Team project.

It’s exciting when leaders of countries agree to take a stand, and actually strive for targets and a framework for an agreement.  Can we move to a firm 1.5 degrees quickly enough to reverse the damage of climate change?  When we will phase out fossil fuel?  Our oceans and forests, all species together in balance— how soon can we achieve rapid change? Will there be justice for the indigenous people, and those of small island developing states (SIDS) in the long run? Now we have some agreed upon goals.  Can we overcome the antiquated categorization of defining a country by developed, developing, and least developed? Will each country begin to support the other with sustainable development based on what they are able to contribute, as the reality takes hold of cliché, “we are all in this together”?

The seeds of reaching the answer to these questions in reality are planted. How quickly we can reach these targets, and more will be the long term success of the Paris Agreement.  All is not there in the Paris agreement yet, but it starts with the will— we celebrate these milestones even though the real work has just begun.

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Ban Ki-moon preparing to talk at the Earth to Paris Conference during COP21

Now to have all countries ratify the Paris Agreement so it becomes legal structure— whether that be a Treaty, Accord or Protocol.  The opportunity for world leaders to sign, and ratify the Paris Accord begins in New York on Earth Day April 22nd, 2016.   All leaders will have one year to endorse it, but early participation is being encouraged.  The plan looks to not just meet the deadline, but also to indeed demonstrate the will and understanding of urgency for all of us to keep the work moving fast forward.   The Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, is charged to organize the activities around the signing on Earth Day.

Basic CMYKWe will need more action over time, the government sector with public policy is needed, but the real change will require many other sectors, to jump into the action—and we will. It will be the collective cumulative action that matters most over time. World Team plans to officially announce our first team in 2016 and we
plan to officially begin our media platform.

There was a thread to all events happening at COP21 during this time in Paris. It’s exciting when leaders of countries agree to take a stand, and actually strive for targets and a framework for an agreement.

For decades we dreamed of this day when countries might all agree on action for our future.  It is a collective starting point to a commitment of an aligned global direction for humanity.  The Paris Agreement will need work but much of the direction we are going collectively has seeds that aligns with the vision that many of us hold in our hearts for a sustainable future. We are now challenged to follow the Golden Rule Principle too, as Pope Francis encouraged in his UNGA and USA Congress speeches. Now to unpack many of the principles of how we will realize the change for our common home, and integrate them throughout our policy, and ways of life— this is the challenge.  The challenge of not only of the Paris Agreement, but for humanity at this time on earth.

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These “Trees of Hope” outside COP21 produce renewable energy by their leaves turning to generate sustainable wind energy turbines.

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

My First AltCar Expo, 2012

By Nicholas Zarchen,  a Senior at Santa Monica High School, and the Photo & Media Editor for the Samohi school paper, and an Intern at World Team Now.

For my first event since joining our non-profit organization, World Team Now (WTN) as an intern, I made my way through the herds of people trying to make an impact on our earth, one car at a time. As a part of the next generation, walking through Santa Monica Civic Center’s electric and eco-friendly car exposition formally titled; AltCar Expo2012, I realized that these cars are key components of the needed journey towards a more ecological future. As I went to each company’s displays, and listened to each brands’ talk, the magnitude and impact of these cars dawned upon me. I was mesmerized with the lingo and the incredible power and progression of the multitude of cars powered by alternate fuels. But in all honesty, I was impressed by the innovation, the inventions of what seemed to be new technology.  After consulting with Suzanne Maxx, Founder of WTN, I learned from their team’s article in the IEEE, Vehicle Electrification Status and Issues that electric vehicles were not exactly new at all.  My fellow peers who made an appearance from my high school’s Team Marine, and the many adults and children who attended the exposition began to catch on– as I did, in hopes of educating ourselves on how we can reduce our ecological footprint.

I got my share of ecological education and realized that there were various alternate ways of powering cars, like electric, hydrogen fuel cell, and bio fuels.  I discovered there were new policies being put in place, and saw the fruits of incredible efforts of activists, non-profit organizations like World Team Now, governments, corporations and scientists alike. I was inspired by the intelligent and inventive students and experts and was thoroughly impressed and shocked by the numerous new ways ideas presented targeted lowering fossil fuel use.

In addition to me being in the next generation, I am also shopping around for my first car before hitting college next year. Going into the exposition I had an open mind, yet I had apprehensions towards electric cars.  However, after learning about these awesome new vehicles, I have taken the ecological impact into much greater consideration. Logistically, all the cars on display made an impression on me, for all were better than the current condition of cars polluting our air while we pay at the gas pump. Each company had their own take and was utilizing a different energy source, if not using two or more, like the hybrid electric. I was shocked by the vast number of cars and was pleasantly surprised by each one’s efficiency. Yet, the Nissan Leaf and the Chevy Volt impressed me immensely. Not only did the mileage and the workings of the car stun me, the cars are beautiful, stylish, and functional. The Leaf has an estimated 92-106 MPGe and has a sleek body, while the Volt has an estimated 98 MPGe and has a bold design. Despite my quest for the right car, the fact that these two cars are leading the way in the fight against fossil fuels, gives me hope that there will be more to come.  The list of new vehicles WTN published has grown, and it’s exciting to learn that most manufactures will have an alternative car by 2014.

Coming from the perspective of a younger mind, I hope that that the next generation realizes the impact of these new sources and these new cars.  I am thankful that World Team Now helps us better understand the change happening, and I’m happy to volunteer. This AltCar Exposition is just a beacon in the movement for the transition towards total alternative fuel dependency and I hope the switch is flipped for many people in the future. I am so excited to see how these cars progress and how the movement shapes out; there is no doubt in my mind, that they are the future, my future.

Rio+20 = More Than “Reunion”

Next year, June 4th  hopefully we all will be back in Rio+20 for  the United Nations’ Earth Summit 2012 to continue what was started many years ago . What is a “life call” for transformation within many of us—being stewards of our earth—may finally become important enough to motivate our world leaders to agree on strong global policy that supports our collective environment, for humanity, and our future.

It was a life changing significant journey for many of us who attended The Earth Summit/Global Forum in Rio De Janeiro, in 1992. “I wish I could capture the energy in this room and bottle it,” said Olivia Newton-John at a press conference. It further ignited a collective spark that fueled the fire inside of many activists, leaders—indeed, all of us who made it to Rio, and continued on the environmental path!

We all laugh at the acronym UNCED, thinking much is “un-said,” but there were significant achievements to come out of Rio with Agenda 21, The Climate Change Treaty which gave way to the Climate Convention (UN Framework Convention on Climate Change – UNFCCC).  This was where the Biodiversity and Desertification Conventions got legs. There was the Rio Declaration,  for more on the  history of the Earth Summit, click here.

During this year long road to Rio+20 World Team Now will be focused on renewable energy and policy, with on the ground projects to demonstrate what is possible. To read about some coverage of recent renewable energy projects click here.  Or be inspired by Google’s solar energy goal to go “viral”, and make solar affordable for us all.  The scientists are our real heros, and most are behind the scenes quietly doing their research without the eyes of the world on them.  Several of the organization partners in the campaign Tck, Tck, Tck  including World Team Now, believe in 100% reliance on renewable energy in the future.   What once seemed impossible, like putting a man on the moon, becomes possible with bold declarations and commitment to execution.

World Team Now will also share some of the original video, stories and information from Rio 1992 when Suzanne Maxx wore multiple hats; a speaker, a performer, activist, journalist, and videographer for Jerry Brown (who was then running for President of the USA).  In the footage, we follow a VIP entourage that included many people deeply respected.    Our goal is to encourage all to participate now and wear the hat of being a citizen of our world committed to living in better balance with our resources.

If all of us, the people of the world push for global political will to drive towards united commitment, transformation can happen. On the eve of World Environment Day this is an invitation to join World Team Now virtually; from the past into our future, as we invite all to be present in whatever way possible next year at the reunion in Rio.

Related Blog posts:

Earth’s Day? Deep Water Horizon Oil Spill/ Fukushima Nuclear Radiation

 It’s Earth Month (EPA’s is celebrating) and this Friday, April 22nd is Earth Day.  At the one year mark of the Deep Water Horizon  Oil Spill –I remember the grief process that caused devastation, the loss of our resources, the harm done to the ocean, the air, the  biodiversity and all of us in the surrounding habitat. Last year I became inactive and silent.  This year, we hadn’t yet recovered when three more disasters in Japan have left radiation spreading from Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant. I have taken baby steps this time, to write this blog, to join Facebook and Twittter and producing a small  local event; please join us.  Please share this link!  http://www.worldteamnow.org/energy-future-earth.html   

Local Event to Raise Awareness during Global Catastrophy

It is for the article on “Energy and Our Future with Earth” click here.  

When you view the first images of the Fukushima nuclear power plant’s explosion of the Japanese coverage  or the German coverage, it is understandable why it did not get wide visibility in traditional media outlets, as it would have cause public panic. How many people realize that these explosions at the nuclear power plant included the classic mushroom cloud?  It is also important for us to have the courage to look at the reality of the tragic situation, authentically with courage.  If the dark part of humanity can be embraced we have a chance at moving on to the Light.  This process is a path to true lasting change, looking deeply inside ourselves and within our world, and asking; “Is this what I choose?”

What is surprising is that I have heard this response when Fukushima is mentioned, “I thought that was done?”  No, like the Deep Horizon Water Oil Spill we really all need to watch this situation closely as it affects that status of not only Japan as a country but all of homes, the earth.

The story through videos;

Live coverage of Tsunami arising http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qk1ESJ78zWs&feature=related

Live coverage of Tsunami hitting Sendai CNN http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rj-8Lhgv3nk

The crippling first images of Fukushima nuclear power plant’s destruction

Mushroom Cloud Reactor #3 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YsJT88jX2SA&feature=related

The explanation of what happened at the nuclear power plant CNN http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BdbitRlbLDc&feature=player_embedded

The present situation thoroughly explained from a scientific perspective by nuclear expert Arnold Gunderson. We recommend viewing the past entries too, for a detailed understanding of what is happening see these sites.

Lewis Arms Control

GRS.de

Japan Atomic Industrial Forum

Tokyo Electric Power Company Tepco.co.jp


Malibu’s Electric Vehicle Chargers

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k5maJ3ARvQ4&feature=player_profilepage]Here is the article that was published in the  Malibu TimesChargers essential
by Suzanne Maxx.  The existing “City of Malibu Electric Vehicles (EVs) Chargers” is a project aligned with our local non-profit World Team Now’s mission. We are concerned that they are not serving the public, as they still do not work after years of … An article was also published in the Surfside News (page 11).

This article summarizes the Malibu EV Charger situationMalibu’s electric vehicle charging stations to receive free upgrades

The Civic Center stations will be updated for free as part of state grant program. By Knowles Adkisson / The Malibu Times- Two outdated electric vehicle charging stations in the Civic Center area are slated to be updated for free as part of a state gr…

Click here for quick grass roots video about the MalibuChargers from World Team Now.

Honoring Leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Martin Luther King press conference-Trikosko/Library of Congress

By Suzanne Maxx Continue reading

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.