Sunday, October 21, 2007

Guest Post By Elyce Brown: Macon Steps it Up

Many thanks to Elyce Brown for sending a post on this critical issue!

Macon Steps It Up on Global Warming

By Elyce Brown

On November 3rd, Macon will join with hundreds of other cities from coast to coast in a “National Day of Climate Action”. Concerned citizens will gather and call on their elected representatives to take leadership on global warming. In Macon, the event will have special significance: the nation’s single largest source of carbon dioxide emissions, Plant Scherer, is located just north of the city.

The event will also provide an opportunity for citizens to become better informed on global warming, answering the big questions that still linger in the minds of many.

Is the earth warming? In scientific circles, there is no debate. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concludes that in the past century, the surface temperature has risen by 0.6°C. Think that’s nothing? Even this seemingly modest amount has been accompanied by widespread glacial retreat, a major decrease in snow cover and ice that feeds lakes and rivers, a rise in sea level, a warmer ocean and immense coral die-offs. And that’s just to name a few of the effects.

Is the warming caused by human activity? This is a question for science, not politics or personal beliefs. The IPCC’s technical reports reflect international scientific consensus and are created under an extensive and transparent peer review process that far outdoes that of scientific journals. The process welcomes and incorporates dissenting opinions, as long as they are supported by empirical evidence. The most recent IPCC report, released in February 2007 includes the input of more than 1,200 authors and 2,500 scientific expert reviewers from more than 130 countries, chosen by the governments of those countries. The report finds that it is “very likely” (90-95%) that emissions of heat-trapping gases from human activities have caused “most of the observed increase in globally averaged temperatures since the mid-20th century” (my italics).

We have the facts. Now we need leaders. On November 3rd, citizens will ask their representatives how they plan to take leadership on global warming to promote the 1Sky priorities: (1) no new coal plants, (2) 80% reduction in carbon emissions by 2050, and (3) 5 million new green jobs.

We know that the earth’s temperature is rising at an alarming rate. We know with 90-95% certainty that “most of the observed increase” is caused by human activity. We also know that by making the switch now to green energies we could be creating millions of badly needed, high-paying jobs for Americans. Now all we need to know is who will step up and lead.

Help make the event a big success by visiting the Step It Up website today and take two quick actions: 1) Sign up to attend the event, and 2) Send Rep. Sanford Bishop an invitation to attend (click on the “Invite Leaders” tab).

Sources:
Union of Concerned Scientists
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
Southern Dis-Comfort: Georgia Turns a Cold Shoulder to Global Warming, The Macon Telegraph, 9/30/2007
Step It Up home

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