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“In the struggle to solve the Climate Crisis, a powerful, largely unnoticed shift is taking place,” believes Al Gore. I think he is right. The world is listening.

As a Climate Reality activist, “you are truly at the front lines of powering the social revolution for climate action,” Al Gore tells all Climate Leaders trained by the Climate Reality Leadership Corps. (my training took place in Chicago in August 2013)

Turning the Corner on Climate Change

Turning the Corner on Climate Change

The narrative on climate change and global warming is changing in some countries, most notably the United States and China. The US in particular is stepping into a leadership role which is expected to spur action in Europe and Japan and a global push to save the planet.

The March release of the National Climate Assessment together with Obama’s roll-out of a plan to curb carbon emissions from coal power plants  by 2030 (to an average of 30 percent less than 2005 levels) are the wake-up call. Climate is back in the national conversation.

Turning the Corner on Climate Change, boomerwarrior

Decades of concerted action by environmentalists and climate scientists to ignite a global movement to tackle the effects of global warming have met with only limited success to date. But this is changing, sometimes somewhat imperceptibly, but little by little we are turning the corner on Climate Change.

Why we are turning the corner on climate change

  1. the IPCC has released  three reports in the last nine months confirming the critical challenge facing the world; the third report bluntly exposes the truly alarming consequences of doing nothing. Two findings in particular are the most ominous and daunting ever published by the IPCC: a reduction of up to 70 percent in greenhouse gases are required by 2050 and the world only has 15 years left to bend the emissions curb downward
  2. the release of the US National Climate Assessment. “The assessment is clear: Not only is climate change a problem in the future, it’s already affecting Americans” said President Obama.
  3. the realization that we are Running out of Time to solve the climate crisis as reported by the Editorial Board of the New York Times.

The Turning Point: New Hope for the Climate

In his recent article in Rolling Stone, The Turning Point: New Hope for the Climate, Al Gore highlights how the global community is at a turning point. He remains optimistic and hopeful that “the truly catastrophic damages that have the potential for ending civilization as we know it can still – almost certainly – be avoided.”

Excerpts from Al Gore’s article:

There is surprising – even shocking – good news: Our ability to convert sunshine into usable energy has become much cheaper far more rapidly than anyone had predicted. The cost of electricity from photovoltaic, or PV, solar cells is now equal to or less than the cost of electricity from other sources powering electric grids in at least 79 countries

In the United States, where up to 49 percent of the new generating capacity came from renewables in 2012, 166 coal-fired electricity-generating plants have either closed or have announced they are closing in the past four and a half years. An additional 183 proposed new coal plants have been canceled since 2005.

In poorer countries, where most of the world’s people live and most of the growth in energy use is occurring, photovoltaic electricity is not so much displacing carbon-based energy as leapfrogging it altogether.

The cost of wind energy is also plummeting, having dropped 43 percent in the United States since 2009 – making it now cheaper than coal for new generating capacity….the projections in 2000 for annual worldwide wind deployments by the end of that decade were exceeded seven times over, and are now more than 10 times that figure.

The Koch brothers are losing rather badly. In Kansas, their home state, a poll by North Star Opinion Research reported that 91 percent of registered voters support solar and wind. Three-quarters supported stronger policy encouragement of renewable energy, even if such policies raised their electricity bills.

The fast-growing number of extreme-weather events, connected to the climate crisis, has already had a powerful impact on public attitudes toward global warming. A clear majority of Americans now acknowledge that man-made pollution is responsible. As the storms, floods, mudslides, droughts, fires and other catastrophes become ever more destructive, the arcane discussions over how much of their extra-destructive force should be attributed to global warming have become largely irrelevant.

The U.S. military has taken notice of the strategic dangers inherent in the climate crisis. Last March, a Pentagon advisory committee described the climate crisis as a “catalyst for conflict” that may well cause failures of governance and societal collapse.

Awareness over the climate crisis has reached a tipping point spilling over into action. This trend is irreversible. As an activist, I do not have time or reasons to feel despair or hopelessness. “That’s just another form of denial, paralyzing action,” says Gore. Henry M. Paulson Jr. who served as secretary of the Treasury under President Bush is now distancing himself from the Republican view on climate change. “There is a time for weighing evidence and a time for acting. We need to act now,” says Paulson in his Climate Bubble Op-Ed published by the NYT.

I feel privileged to be living at at time when the world faces such challenges. In spite of the guilt I feel for being part of a generation which largely ignored the warning signs of the dire effects of global warming, I now believe that I can be part of the solution, trying to make a difference in the war on global warming. If we fail in this colossal endeavor, we will bear the burden of having caused indescribable hardships to future generations of children and grandchildren.

The public at large feels it viscerally now. As Bob Dylan sang, “You don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.”
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Rolly Montpellier, founder of BoomerWarriorRolly Montpellier is the Founder and Managing Editor of BoomerWarrior.Org. He’s also a  Climate Reality leader (Climate Reality Leadership Corps), a blogger, an activist and a Climate Change presenter.
He has been a contributor to the Climate Change Guide, The Canadian, ClimateMama, The Hill Times, World Daily, Georgian Bay News, The Elephant, CounterCurrents, 350Ottawa and MyEarth360.

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4 COMMENTS

  1. There is a saying on the left and one should keep it in mind: “The revolution will not be televised.”

    I prefer to call it the “R-love-ution” because of the violent connotations of past revolutions. This one cannot be won with violence as it plays directly into the strong hands of the oppressors. New tactics have evolved leaving the Pollutocrats without a foundation. Morals and ethics have started to penetrate the thinking of those unfamiliar with “rational thinking.”

    Today the Guardian had an article about the morality of investing in gun production:

    Of course gun stocks are immoral, along with lots of others in our socially enabled capitalistic economy. Off the top of my head I would add:
    1. Agriculture futures and policies that profit from the starvation of the masses.
    2. Medical policies that profit the sick and dying as opposed the health of the people as a whole.
    3. Industrial Military complex that profits from wars.
    4. The most egregious, fossil fuel investments that profit from the pollution of the commons and ultimately planetary ecocide.
    The list is long. IMO the very foundation of Western capitalism is predicated on violence and the exploitation of the planetary commons with zero attention given to the cries of man and beast or the needs of future generations.

    • I like your response Leif. And I agree that something is changing in the way we’re approaching some of our global issues. For example, the conversation on climate change is turning as public attitudes gravitate to the need to take action. I’m not sure if it’s about morality or just plain and simple common sense or for that matter the fear of annihilation.

      Your number 4 re fossil fuel investments stands out as the issue of our current times in my view. Which reminds me that I still want to use your material on stranded assets – I have something in draft form. There are not enough hours in a day my friend but it will happen.

      It’s really nice to hear from you.

      I will post include your comments above to my Facebook as a post comment.

      Be well.

  2. The Climate Mobilization Indiegogo needs funding. Let’s mobilize to help them!

    (NOTE: I am not a member, just a huge fan)

  3. Quote – “There is surprising – even shocking – good news: Our ability to convert sunshine into usable energy has become much cheaper far more rapidly than anyone had predicted. The cost of electricity from photovoltaic, or PV, solar cells is now equal to or less than the cost of electricity from other sources powering electric grids in at least 79 countries”….

    Technology in solar energy generation is advancing at a rapid pace. Over the next few years, it will become easier and greener to produce at an economical price for all to buy.

    I live on a boat and have to generate electricity into a battery bank. This previously came from my engine, requiring that it run several hours a day using up to 10 litres in the process. Now, my battery bank is regenerated from 4 solar panels. I estimate that the cost of buying the panels will be recovered in as little as two years…. then my energy is almost free (except for the cost of replacement batteries).

    I am in the enviable position of being able to afford to buy solar panels and feel good that my purchase also cuts down on greenhouse gas generated from my engine. But, many people still rely on day-to-day purchases of fossil fuel products – they have no choice, even if they want to save the environment. They must travel to work by car, they must heat their homes.

    Perhaps we should all have a “switch off day.” Would the whole world respond to that? Would the economy machine close down for a day across the globe to make a point? I doubt it. But if they did – would everyone suddenly hear the birds, see the stars and wonder why their energy hungry world is so disconnected from nature.

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