Tag Archives: global warming

Make the Planet Great Again???

In the same week in June 2017 that the rest of the world celebrate World Environment Day (June 5th) and World Oceans Day (June 8th), President Donald Trump announced that the US would withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement to which the Obama administration had signed up to in April 2016.

One of his justifications for this disastrous act is the claim that the Agreement has a detrimental effect on US jobs in the coal and fossil fuels industry.  This may be the case, but however, he has totally overlooked the fact that today whilst the coal industry employs just over 160,000 people in the US, there are almost 374,000 people employed in solar energy and a further 101,000 in wind power industries.

  • Natural Gas – 398,235
  • Coal – 160,119
  • Oil – 515,518
  • Solar – 373,807 
  • Bio Energies – 130,677
  • Wind – 191,735
  • Nuclear – 76,711
  • Hydro Electricity – 65,554

Fossil fuels

Renewable/low emission energies

You can see that solar energy employs 20% of the total energy jobs with coal only accounting for about 9%. (figures supplied by Department of Energy)

Renewable-Vs-Fossil-Jobs-Bloomberg

Clean energy employs more people than fossil fuels in nearly every U.S. state

Clean energy jobs have seen incredible growth in recent years, with solar and wind jobs growing at a rate 12 times faster than the rest of the U.S. economy. According to a 2015 report from the Environmental Defense Fund, renewable energy jobs in the United States enjoyed a 6 percent compound annual growth rate between 2012 and 2015. Fossil fuel jobs, by contrast, had a negative 4.5 percent compound annual growth rate over the same time period. And, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the nation’s fastest growing profession over the next decade is likely to be a wind turbine technician.

Nonsense. The United States is notorious for inventing whole industries other countries end up dominating — because our private sector under-finances advanced development and commercialization.

Prior to pulling out the Agreement, Trump’s budget had already sabotaged America’s best chance to add millions of high-wage jobs.  This lack of foresight included zeroing the budget for the Department of Energy clean tech programs:

  • the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy, which invests in innovative clean technology
  • a program to improve manufacturing for clean cars, and
  • the loan guarantee program, which jump-started large-scale U.S. solar deployment, the electric vehicle (EV) revolution, and companies like Tesla.

The budget offers this rationale: “The private sector is better positioned to finance disruptive energy research and development and to commercialize innovative technologies.”

That’s a key reason America steadily lost manufacturing jobs while other countries make so many devices invented in the US such as iPhone, flatscreen TVs, and most consumer electronics….

So how does this help to “Make America Great Again”?  How can a country that considers itself to be a World Leader be so blinkered to its responsibility to actually LEAD?  Most developed countries are now moving away from coal and fossil fuels as they recognise and accept that it is a finite resource and prefer to invest in developing new renewable energy sources.  The Paris Agreement also  provided funding for newly developing countries to expand their energy needs along greener routes rather than relying on dirty fuels that the rest of the world have started to discard.

How can America ever be Great again if there is no planet for it be Great on?

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Leonardo DiCaprio – Before the Flood

Leonardo DiCaprio has told the BBC’s Newsbeat that he thinks climate change is the biggest issue facing young people today.

He was speaking at the premiere of his documentary about environmental issues, Before The Flood, at the London Film Festival.

The film sees the Oscar-winning actor travel the world to see the impact of global warming first hand.

He says there are many things young people can do, but the most important is to use their vote.


“I think this is the issue of [young people’s] generation and there has been a huge movement out there from the youth,” he told Newsbeat.

“The main thing is to try to vote for political leaders that are going to do something about climate change, because it affects them directly.

“It really boils down to their vote, if we have political leaders in office that do not want to take fundamental steps to combat this issue we are ultimately doomed.

“And the best way you can do that in a democracy is by putting people in office that are going to take action.”

leo-dicaprio
Leonardo DiCaprio and film director Fisher Stevens

Both Leo and filmmaker Fisher Stevens said when making this film, they wanted to focus on the youth.

“It is for the youth, it is to inspire the youth, it is to know what is going on because that will inspire them more because they will know what is going on,” Fisher told us at the premiere.

Leonardo DiCaprio has been campaigning on environmental issues and climate for a number of years and is also a messenger of peace for the UN.

He says with this film, as well as inspiring a young generation, he wants to put to rest the argument that there isn’t an issue.

“You can listen to pundits but ultimately we have to listen to the scientific community,” he told us.

“As we have stated many times in this movie, if you don’t believe in man-made climate change then you don’t believe in gravity.

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In discussion with Barack Obama who features in the documentary

“We also present solutions and this is going to take everyone from all walks of life, from everywhere around the world.”

He says he’s grateful the agreement, which will limit the use of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) found in fridges and air conditioners, has been agreed.

“This is going to be something that affects young people for decades and decades,” he said.

“It will affect their children and their grandchildren and their life. It is a long-term problem and we need long term solutions.

“But we need an entire generation out there that is going to be focused on this issue, use their vote to put people in their office that are going to take action on this issue and get involved.”

Before The Flood premieres on the National Geographic Channel on 30 October

(article courtesy of BBC News)

 

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