Yesterday, December 11th, the COP21 Conference including 195 countries came to an agreement on the need to shift from carbon-based fuels and on a way to do so. This is a start to the type of global progress that we need and while the goals and limitations will not solve the problem, it is, finally, a serious beginning. Congratulations to the world’s nations who came together to begin seriously addressing the problem that threatens our future.
Category Archives: Delaney Reynolds
While the world’s climate negotiations are taking place in Paris at the Conference of the Parties (COP21) at the United Nations Conference on Climate Change, a simulated negotiation took place here, in Miami, on December 5th at the Frost Museum of Science that included 60 high school students from the Upward Bound program along with 120 students from StarBot Academy, Breakthrough Miami’s middle school STEM Program. I was proudly asked to act as a Climate Advisor to some of the children and was assigned to the group that represented the world’s developing nations including Pakistan and the Middle East, South Africa, Brazil, Mexico, and the Island Nations.
The program, which was sponsored by Breakthrough Miami, the Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science, Dream in Green and the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science was a mock-UN climate negotiation that educated the children on climate change including social and economic impacts to the world’s various nations. It was fascinating to see the depth that children as young as middle schoolers undertook in considering how a changing climate will impact jobs, industry, technology, agriculture and, of course, various aspects of the environment. I am not surprised by the children’s understanding of these issues, I see such reactions all the time as I present my Sink or Swim initiative to children, but it sure was encouraging.
Organized by Climate Interactive’s World Climate Project, the children not only learned about many climate related topics but used a policy decision making simulator called C-ROADS (Climate Rapid Overview and Decision Support), which was developed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Climate Interactive, the University of Massachusetts at Lowell, and Ventana Systems. The children from each country or group of countries then created an action plan that addressed the concerns of their member nations and then entered into robust, often passionate, debate from the auditorium stage as they argued their position and facts in support of their temperature goals.
It was a wonderful experience being with the children and so many passionate people. I am also happy to report that working together, negotiating with one another, we were able to set climate temperature goals (an increase of no more than 2%) that, if the world’s ‘real’ (current) leaders can accomplish the same result that the children did will lead to tremendous improvement in the future. To the children that participated, as well as the sponsors, thank you for allowing me to be with you. To those who are negotiating the real agreement in Paris, please do your best to set the most aggressive goals possible and know that what you are doing will soon be in the hands of the children that were with us here in Miami and around the world. We, the children of the world, are counting on you and if a bunch of kids can come to a helpful agreement then we expect you can too.
“I’m looking to take the oil. I want to take the oil. I want the oil.
We have to stop the source of money, and the source of money is oil”.
Presidential Candidate Donald Trump
This morning, as I watched some of the national news Sunday morning political talk shows, one featured a phone interview with businessman and Republican candidate Donald Trump. When he was asked about the Middle East and the ISIS terrorism group he suggested that ending the flow of money that ISIS receivces from its loyalists from their lucrative oil businesses was his goal.
“I’m looking to take the oil. I want to take the oil. I want the oil,” Trump said on ABC’s “This Week” television show. He continued by saying “we have to stop the source of money, and the source of money is oil.”
While I understand the sentiment about stopping the money that finances terrorists, I would like to see Mr. Trump and all of the candidates from both parties take his thinking at least one step further by ending reliance on fossil fuels in America. How about we, as a nation, come together and create solututions that end our reliance on fossil fuel based oil once and for all? I beleive that the candidates that make that their goal would have support from many Americans in next year’s Presidential election. Let’s not focus on ‘taking’ anyone’s oil and, instead, on how we can forever end reliance on fossil fuel based energy sources.
As I’ve said it before, I’m only sixteen and, as of yet, have no political affiliation. I am not republican or democrat. Heck, I’m not even old enough to vote! However, this is ridiculous. Our country’s dependence on foreign oil and its usage is causing our coastal states to essentially sink as the waters rise. The fact that many politicians in leadership positions are denying this and pandering to oil industry related special interests is appalling. Before we know it, many Floridians will become Georgians once our region is under water.
The good news is that people are starting to pay real attention. People are starting to ask hard questions and demand real answers. The science, of course, is indisputable. Consider that, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists, since 1854 12.5% of all industrial carbon pollution has been produced by just five businesses (you guessed it, all oil companies);
And if that’s not bad enough, consider that 48% of all carbon on our planet is produced by just 20 entities. 15 of those 20 are oil companies, and the top five are the same as in the infographic above: Chevron, ExxonMobil, BP, Shell, and ConocoPhillips.
In 1963 then President John F. Kennedy challanged our country to send men to the moon by the end of that decade and within seven years, against all odds, the United States did exactly that and, in the process, changed the world. While candidates are looking to gain our attention and become the next President, I’d like to hear them talk about ending reliance on fossil fuels and bringing our Country together to create a solution for the world that will, again, change it for the better.
We need to stop the political rehtoric, stop allowing politicians from protecting special interests linked to the oil industry and begin focusing on ways to dramatically lower man made carbon emissions before its too late. We need to hear about specific plans to end reliance on fossil fuels and in doing so will not need to ‘take’ it as Mr. Trump suggested. If there is no demand then, it seems to me, that would solve two important problems.
My idea is to demand solutuions, yet also mandate that jobs here in America are protected, that no one loses their job. In fact, let’s mandate that solutions must be found, that reliance on fossil fuels must soon end (how about a goal to end it within 10 years?) and that those whose jobs would otherwise be impacted must stay employed, all-be-it in new energy roles and ways.
While I can’t yet vote for what I ‘want’, and hope many people who can vote desire, we need someone who will call for an end to our reliance on fossil fuels and, instead, demand new solutions. Someone who might say something along the lines of what’s at the bottom of this page as much, or more, than at the top;
I’m looking to take the United States in a new direction, away
from its reliance on oil. I want to take a new appropach to the oil.
I want our Country to end its reliance on the oil.
We have to stop the source of money, and the source of
money is oil, by creating new solutions to our energy needs.
New solutuons. Aggressive goals. That’s what we all need to hear about, support and demand of our leaders. The sooner, the better.