“Climate change?! That’s a global thing. Let the global people deal with it.”
This is what we often hear from the fossil fuel interests and their allies when we propose bold climate solutions in the Northwest. It’s one of their many ways of saying, “It’s hopeless. Resistance is futile. Think about something else [… which, of course, people are understandably eager to do!]”
And that’s exactly why our increasingly bold efforts in the Northwest – stopping coal export, replacing coal with clean energy, expanding opportunities for all in the clean energy economy, and giving the oil industry some real competition – are so vitally important. Not only do they pave the way to a future of sustainable, broadly shared prosperity in Cascadia; they also give real hope and inspiration to “the global people”, who have been desperately waiting for American leadership in climate solutions for over 20 years.
And when we meet with “the global people,” as we will at the UN Climate Summit this week in New York, BOY are they happy to see us. Despite the dismal history of US resistance to international climate commitments, the world is still eager and hungry to embrace Americans who are serious about solutions. You Northwest advocates and pioneers can be sure that your work will be noticed and appreciated at the summit when, for example:
- Representatives from California, Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia will present the progress, challenges, and promise of regional climate collaboration on the West Coast of North America – the best place on Earth, may I humbly suggest, to prove out a complete transition from fossil fuels to clean energy.
- Financial and economic analysts gather to assess carbon risk – the growing financial bubble in companies whose profits and equity values depend on digging or burning carbon that must remain in the ground. The Power Past Coal campaign gets a lot of credit for showing the coal industry what risk looks like!
- State and local governments will gather to share best practices and cross-fertilize the growing local movements for climate solutions – inspired and informed by the fantastic work of cities like Portland and Seattle, and the smaller communities who drive the New Energy Cities Program.
- Foundations and other large investors will accelerate the movement for fossil-fuel divestment and clean energy investment, led by some of our terrific pioneers and partners in the Northwest.
And, above all, we Northwesterners will be there when unprecedented throngs of people from all walks of life take to the streets in the People’s Climate March – the largest climate demonstration in history. One whole section of the march, stretching for many blocks, is all about solutions, and you know the Climate Solutions banner will be flying high and proud!
More from NYC soon!