Archive for May, 2009

Shaping Global Emissions Policy: What can you do?

We have a critical window in which to shape post- Kyoto global climate change policy in the run up to the talks in December 2009 in Copenhagen.

Why is this a critical window? First, because scientists tell us we have only several years in which to cut emissions to curb the most harmful effects of climate change. And at our June Spheres of Influence dinner event, we learned that the oceans are telling us that C02 emissions are not just causing climate change but poisoning the oceans– now. The oceans are the canary in the coal mine. Second, because the treaty that is negotiated in Copenhagen will either make or break our international ability to create the policies that are essential to stave off climate disaster.

You may wonder what you as a mere mortal can do to make a difference. Until very recently, I was prepared to leave international policy to the big players like Al Gore and Tony Blair.

But now I understand how critical Midwestern swing votes are –and I see the “on ramps” for the action of ordinary citizens. It all comes down to using your voice as a constituent. It matters. It really, really matters.

Key Midwestern swing vote elected officials: 

House: Kirk; Halverson; Visclosky

Senate: Lugar; Bayh; Grassley; Stabenow; Levin; Conrad; Dorgan; Brown; Voinovich; Alexander; Pryor; Murkowski

So– starting with the easiest possible action: Sign the petition created by Oceana stating that we need strong climate change policy in the US now. Oceana makes it easy to speak out to your US elected officials supporting strong climate change policy. Just click the button!

Even more effective: Write a personal letter or set up a meeting with your US US Senator supporting Global Warming Pollution Reduction Act of 2007 (S. 309). This bill aims to avoid the dangerous and irreversible warming of this planet by mandating cuts in heat-trapping pollution now and increasing those cuts year by year.  Write a personal letter or set up a meeting with your US Congressional Representative supporting the Safe Climate Act of 2007 (HR. 1590). This bill aims to avoid the dangerous and irreversible warming of this planet by mandating a flexible economy-wide cap-and-trade program for greenhouse gas emissions, along with measures to advance technology and reduce emissions through renewable energy, energy efficiency and cleaner cars.

Another great resource for national climate policy in the run up to Copenhagen is which focuses only on climate change policy. In the Midwest, the Envirnomental Law & Policy Center is a key resource.

It only takes five– that’s right–five letters, phone calls or visits from constituents to get the attention of our elected officials.

Not sure how to contact your Representives?

They want to hear from you– and your children and grandchildren need you to take this step now to ensure a world in which they can flourish.

Get involved and you will reap tremendous personal rewards. Make a difference.  It feels great to have your voice heard!

Become a Spheres of Influence member today and become a part of the solution.

Follow me on Twitter to stay up to date on opportunities to use your voice: @drsarahwarren.

May 26, 2009 at 11:17 pm

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