Category Archives: #RatherBeInCourt

Business As “Usual”

When I started college I knew there would be times like this where my school work, environmental work, lectures and all else might keep me from posting to my blog as often as I’d like and the last two months have been just that. I’ve been “radio silent” for some time between traveling overseas for an incredible experience that I will soon share with you, final exams, a new job I’ll tell you about soon, and one marine science expedition after another to start the summer. I will be back on the “high seas” on a week long shark tagging trip later this week, but will do my best to write a post or two between now and then given all that’s going on in the world starting with Business As Usual

Cowardly Lion

I was going to title this post Cowards but I generally see myself as a polite, respectful person and thus settled on Business As “Usual” instead.

As much of the world now knows, this week President Trump clearly announced that he’d not have any reservations over accepting information about a political opponent from a foreign government (sound familiar?), nor feel compelled to inform the FBI if ever contacted about such information.

I will leave it to the expert political scientists to evaluate most of the President’s troubling comments but should anyone wonder whether his comments are acceptable (or legal), you need only read the unprecedented statement that the head of the Federal Elections Committee, a Trump appointee, issued while also wondering out loud why her office would even need to explain that working with a foreign government, or not informing authorities about being approached, should be common sense. You can read all about it here from a Washington Post article which starts with the following:

Federal Election Commission Chairwoman Ellen Weintraub released a statement Thursday making clear that candidates for public office may not receive help from a foreign government, in what appeared to be a warning to President Trump, who said he would consider taking information about an opponent from another country. 

 

 

 

Tweeting her statement, Weintraub wrote, “I would not have thought that I needed to say this.”

The President and his profound lack of character is now well known to the world and frankly I’m over it and him. His record speaks loudly for itself and the sooner we can replace him, the better (November 2020 can’t come soon enough!).

However, what actually concerns me is the fact that nearly his entire political party, yes the Republicans, are so systemically silent in response.

Politics aside, as an American it’s truly troubling that virtually all members of his party run so scared of the man (and why, for fear of an early morning tweet?) that they avoid calling him out over those comments and countless others. Their silence facilitates the fire to grow and grow.

These educated men and women in our Congress and Senate are in prominent positions to act like leaders, to be examples for others, especially young people, to follow. They hold in their hands the morals, ethics and laws of our nation and yet virtually all of them remain silent as a storm that erodes our country rages around them.

Their silence has become their accepted approach to politics, it is how they conduct their business but it does not go unnoticed. And I am certain that I am not alone in these observations nor in thinking that they are cowards to stand silent and by doing so condone his behavior.

I can’t say I am surprised, the Republicans’ silence has for too long been their typical “business” strategy to all things climate change. As they sit silently, or worse when they enthusiastically promote antiquated industries such as oil and coal in places like West Virginia, Kentucky, Texas and elsewhere in hopes of garnering votes and political donations to perpetuate their time in office, Republicans are placing their selfish political interests above serving our country and that, most certainly, is shameful.

In order to solve our climate crisis, all of our elected leaders, no matter their party affiliation, are going to need to become involved in creating meaningful solutions, to actively engage in productive debate over what is happening right before our eyes and in supporting solutions to the problem by helping our country transition away from fossil fuels and to our sustainable futures. To avoid these topics, or for that matter avoid scolding a terribly misguided President, will not make things better and likely makes them worse. And while we can likely tolerate the circus that is the Trump White House until the next election, we do not have any time to waste when it comes to our climate crisis.

To solve the climate crisis we need and deserve patriots and leaders, not cowards.

Business as usual will not work.

Policies and products that emit carbon pollution into our atmosphere and oceans must end. We need elected officials who will make the hard choices to support transformational changes that in many cases will threaten their ability to be re-elected and that put our nation and environment ahead of politics. Avoiding the topic as happened over the last 8 years here in Florida under Governor, now Senator, Rick Scott or is happening in Washington right now, is no longer acceptable.

All of us likely need to be a bit less polite and far less patient when it comes to saving our planet.

And you know what? On second thought, I should have titled this blog Cowards. That’s what those who stand silent and allow this to happen to our country and planet are: COWARDS.

Our Common Cause

I believe that our global climate crisis is the biggest challenge that my generation will ever face and that it is up to kids like myself all over our planet to solve this crisis. As ominous as the problem is there is good news about the passion and perspectives that children all over the world have, about how seriously many of us take this topic and of how committed we are to solving it. With that in mind I’d like to share a few recent examples of hope from all around the world with you.

France & Canada

Take my new friend Myriam Khelifi, a French Canadian who lives in the Province of Quebec who wrote me after my recent blog on the Yellow Vest riots in France.

Hey, Delaney!

I’m Myriam – a young climate activist, just like you! I am 15 years old and I wanted to propose you a mutual agreement: team work. 

I created myself a blog 2 years ago, on which I post a lot of articles, magazines and videos (I have a YouTube channel) regarding many issues about global warming. Although it’s mostly written in French because it’s my mother tongue, some of them are available in English.

I’ve invited her to write a guest blog or two for our site and as she’s considering the topic to start with she wrote the following;

I could talk about the oil sands in Alberta or the Kinder Morgan pipeline that Justin Trudeau, the Prime Minister, wants to build even though people are against it. I could even talk about any other subject – I’ve already done a lot of research about coral bleaching, GMOs, plastic in the oceans, etc. 

If you don’t think the world is changing, that children all over the planet are serious about this topic, then consider that the young woman who wrote about oil sands in Alberta, the Kinder Morgan pipeline, the Prime Minister, coral bleaching and plastics in the ocean is “just” 15 years old.  Thanks Myriam for helping make my point and being such an inspiration to me and so many others.

India

I am humbled by how often I hear from children in India and their fears concern me deeply. In fact, one of my first classroom presentations after starting The Sink or Swim Project was to a girls’ school in India by Skype. That was an amazing experience, me here in Miami near midnight and the children in their classroom live in front of me on the other side of the world a morning later talking about their concerns. Sea level rise threatens an estimate 50 Million people in Bangladesh alone who are predicted to become Climate Refugees (the number of Climate Refuges that South Florida could produce within my lifetime is 2.5 Million people).

So, yeah, India has a very serious problem on its hands and notes like this recent one from my new friend Pathan are common (as are his concerns):

Hi Delaney

I am Pathan Arshadkhan from India.

The world’s most air polluted cities are here but no serious action done by government.

What can I do for my country and my people?

My response includes ways to engage his local government, to start small on fixing this very big problem and I am confident that he and children all over India are doing just that right now.

Cambridge, England

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And while we are touring the world a bit allow me to share with you that I am honored to announce that on April 2nd I will be the opening speaker at the University of Cambridge (England) for The University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL) and its annual Climate-Related Financial Reporting Conference. I am grateful to know that the University and conference attendees want to hear from a child as they consider ways to measure and manage the complex issues of climate change.

The University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership was created to assist people, businesses and industry all over the world seek profitable, sustainable, ways to work together to address common challenges and become agents of true global change. The Institute has offices in Cambridge, Brussels and Cape Town as well as delivery partners in Beijing, Melbourne and São Paolo. By working with multinational businesses, multilateral agencies and governments all over the world the Institute and its amazing staff delivers sustainable projects in Europe, Africa, North and South America, Asia and Australia.

The conference, as outlined on its website, “is designed for financial officers, risk officers, strategic managers, enterprise risk managers, investors, regulators, insurers, accountants, auditors and accounting academics who are interested in understanding the development progress and potential impact of near- and longer-term initiatives to report the implications of global climate change on potential financial performance, the implications of firms’ decisions on global climate change, and the degree of firms’ interactions with and dependencies upon stocks of natural capital.”

As I said, I am truly honored that the University of Cambridge would think to invite me overseas to speak at this important event and would like to thank them, Dr. Alan Jagonlinzer and the University of Zurich for sponsoring me. You can learn more about the Conference by clicking here.

The United States of America

Earth’s climate is now changing faster than at any point in the history of modern civilization, primarily as a result of human activities. The impacts of global climate change are already being felt in the United states and are projected to intensify in the future but the severity of future impacts will depend largely on actions taken to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to adapt to the changes that will occur.

United States Global Change Research Program

Fourth National Climate Assessment

November 23rd, 2018

And that brings me back home to America. The good news is that it’s not just children who are “getting it.”

Slowly, but surely, even Republican lawmakers in our country are breaking rank with the past and with our President, seeing the growing gravity of the problem and starting to pay attention to the science as much or more than antiquated, protectionist politics.

Take for example the recent New York Times article (which you can read here) entitled Trump Is Increasingly Alone On One Side Of The Climate-Science Divide where it was reported that three Republicans from the powerful House Energy and Commerce Committee, Representative’s Walden of Oregon, Upton of Michigan, and Shimkus of Illinois wrote an article for Real Clear Policy and within it state “climate change is real” and suggested that we change our ways so as to “reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

And if that’s not enough proof that things are starting to change, that reality is sinking in, in a historic first a candidate for the 2020 Presidential race, Washington Governor Jay Inslee launched his bid for the White House by announcing that our nation’s most pressing issue is climate change. “It is time for our nation to set a new priority,” Inslee told supporters gathered at a solar-panel business in Seattle. “This is truly our moment. It is our moment to solve America’s most daunting challenge and make it the first, foremost, and paramount duty of the United States … to defeat climate change.”

Of course, when I say reality is starting to set in I am not referring to the current occupant of the White House. President Trump remains America’s Climate Denier in Chief, an abate embarrassment as he desperately works to secure re-election votes from coal mining states, utilities and others who want to continue their polluting ways. Our President is so delusional, so unwavering in his ignorant, evil, support of carbon pollution that according to the Washington Post (click here) he’s in the midst of creating a committee of scientists to take issue with his own Administration’s Fourth National Climate Assessment, a report last year that concluded “Earth’s climate is now changing faster than at any point in the history of modern civilization, primarily as a result of human activities. 97% of the world’s scientists agree that our planet is warming and that man’s reliance on fossil fuels is the cause, but leave it to Mr. Trump to seek out the 3% who are likely biased in some fashion and might want to suggest otherwise just as tobacco companies ran advertising with biased doctors promoting cigarettes’ use a generation ago.

We still have much to do, and do quickly, but from Miami to Canada, India, England and beyond, today’s youth have tired of the pollution, and the politics of deceit, and are quickly coming together to solve our common cause, our global climate crisis.

The Savings & Simplicity of Solar

 

Great Letter to the Editor today in the Miami Herald about the savings and simplicity of having a solar power system on one’s home that I wanted to share with everyone. In my home our experience is exactly the same as the Letter’s writer, Simon Rose. Our home has solar power, a battery storage system for night time and is connected to the local utility by net solar metering. Our bill runs between $7.00 and $15.00 per month total and whether the utility is operating or not, say after a Hurricane, we always have power. It’s amazing or, as Mr. Rose says, “charging is on the house”.

MERITS OF SOLAR

For years, I’ve been asked what it is like to be a solar homeowner: Do you have to change your habits? Do you have power at night? Do you have power after a storm? The answers are simple: No. Yes. Yes.

In July 2015, we installed a solar system on the roof of our Miami home. Through net-metering, our FPL bill is a constant $9 and change per month, so our investment should be paid off after about six years. Realtors calculate an average $15,000 premium for the sale of a solar house. We recently installed a battery storage system, so when a storm hits, we’ll be able to power our house on sunshine during a grid outage. All from silent, non-toxic power.

Rooftop solar installation prices have plummeted in the last decade and now, thanks to Solar United Neighbors co-ops, the savings are greater and homeowners receive free, unbiased support throughout the entire process.

For my money, the two best investments a homeowner can make are solar panels and an electric vehicle. When you go solar and buy an electric vehicle, charging is on the house. Really!

– Simon Rose,

Miami

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