Despite the chaos that has enveloped the White House, we can take comfort in the day-to-day functioning of our American communities.
The recent birth of my first grandchild reinforces my desire to believe that the world that she will inherit will be at least as good as my world, if not better. I am trusting her future to the sustainability leaders and professionals that have emerged during the first part of the 21st century.
Renewable energy will displace fossil fuels when (not if) it becomes as reliable, cheaper, and more convenient. The polls indicate that the latent market for renewables in already in place, with young Americans strongly supporting a transition away from fossil fuels.
The climate problem will be made less bad by technological, cultural, social and economic change that will force political change. Waiting for policy to be the change agent is an exercise in futility.
The companies that develop cheaper and more reliable renewable energy and energy storage technologies will drive fossil fuel companies from the marketplace. Since Trump’s team won’t help, let’s convince them to end their attack on renewable energy and stay out of the way of the change that is on the way.
We are in a new era of information, computation and communication, which requires that we develop new methods for verifying facts and data.
Until now, Administrator Pruitt has been an enemy of EPA, but he has a chance to change the narrative and demonstrate that his conservative principles are consistent with the goals of environmental protection. I hope he decides to save EPA and serve the American people.
With the phrase “climate change” disappearing from U.S. federal government websites and increased talk of regulatory overreach, it is obvious that protecting the environment will continue to be a fault line in American political ideology. However, though ideology will shape the nature and speed of response, the environmental problem is real and cannot be ignored.
There are limits to how much a president can do without a congress willing to legislate. Barack Obama produced his environmental legacy through the creative and determined use of his executive authority.
On Thursday, October 29, the Earth Institute and the School of International of Public Affairs hosted a panel on Sustainability and Climate Change in the 2016 Presidential Race. The panel was moderated by Chuck Todd of NBC’s Meet the Press. The panelists discussed how to frame the climate change conversation in such a polarized political environment.