It seems like a good idea to end the week on a positive note, so lately I have been trying to do just that on my Friday blogs. However, this week has been a particularly discouraging one for those of us concerned about having a safe planet for our children and grandchildren. First, there was the death of climate legislation in the U.S., then there’s the just-published NOAA State of the Climate Report based on work by 300 scientists in 48 countries shows that, globally, the last 10 years have been the hottest on record. And let’s not forget about the study published in Nature shows that phytoplankton, a microscopic food crucial to marine life, is dying out due to the climate change-related rise in ocean temperatures. And I haven’t mentioned that this week marked the 100th day since the BP oil disaster began, or that Australia’s new Prime Minister Julia Gillard has taken the approach of another year of inaction while a “citizen’s consensus” group discusses climate change and carbon taxing. And please, let’s not even talk about “King Stephen“, our Canadian PM, whose pathetic stance on this urgent issue is “we won’t do anything until the Americans do”.
But today’s Friday, and some good news is in order – let’s see:
Via 350.org: President Patil of India has announced that the President’s estate, Rasthrapati Bhavan, is now a certified green building, including the installation of solar power! Click here for the full announcement.
Via the wall of the Facebook group 1,000,000 Strong Against Offshore Drilling, this personal story:
I met a fellow the other day. He was planting fruit trees on our orchard. He had quit his job in the Alberta tar sands after the BP spill. He described to me the dangerous conditions in which they work in, the horrible daily mess that he had to help clean up, the countless gallons of fresh water wasted and the guilt he… felt every day. He said that everyone in the oil industry knows that they’re running out and that they will continue to drill in more and more places where extraction is tricky regardless of the environmental costs. He was disgusted with the oil industry. He’s a good dad and was making good money there, but decided to quit, pack up, and start a new job/new life working with troubled youth. Hearing his story gave me hope that even those who work for Oil know the horrible cost it is having on our lives.
Via Climate Progress: EPA Strongly Reaffirms Scientific Basis for Regulating Greenhouse Gas Emissions That Endanger Public Health
And on a personal note, part of our roof-mounted 7 Kilowatt solar panel system just arrived. It looks like it’s the aluminium rail mounting system; we’re still waiting for the actual panels. It means that we’re another step closer to being part of the Ontario microFIT program. More details – and pictures – to follow!
Via Earthpolicy.org: Did you know? A bicycle is a marvel of engineering efficiency, one where an investment in 22 pounds of metal and rubber boosts the efficiency of an individual mobility by a factor of three. Click here for information on the League of American Bicyclists.
And on that theme, this weekend you can be part of “National Don’t Use Your Car Day(s)”. If you are on Facebook and want to sign on, click here.
This past week, the UN General Assembly voted overwhelmingly in favour of recognizing water and sanitation as human rights. Now that is good news – even though Canada abstained from the vote. For on this, check out the Council of Canadians website – www.canadians.org.
If you are in the U.S. and unhappy with the failure of the climate bill, go to 350.org’s “They Blew It. Let Them Know It” page where you can sign up to “shadow” your senator while he or she is on recess and send them the message that it’s outrageous that they threw up their hands over this crucial piece of legislation.