Thursday, February 08, 2007

The Window

Yesterday, I watched the Mayor of a major city make a presentation about climate change. He had spent part of his holidays in training with Al Gore (watch this) learning how to give the presentation that is the basis for The Inconvenient Truth.

He opened with the photo of earth taken from Apollo VIII.

This Mayor was as well informed as any person on earth can be on the basics of climate change and the science that supports it. He chose just a few of the slides of the larger Gore presentation to make his own point at the press conference that announced his agenda for dealing with the issue on the local level. They were powerful graphic tools that clearly showed the scale and the gravity of the problem we must all face.

Here is part of the story from KXAN

"The City of Austin is taking bold steps that officials say will affect how you live in the future.

The city says it's changing the way it does business to prevent global warming, and it wants you to do the same.

Austin Mayor Will Wynn says our planet is in a fragile state and now is the time to take action.
"Each city has different tools in their tool box," Wynn said.

The City of Austin says it's building a foundation for the future. To fight global warming, it's produced a climate protection plan aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

"From where I stand to the top of the sky is about 10 miles, the same distance from here to Bergstrom. It's that protective layer that allows life to exist on this planet," Wynn said.

It's why Wynn says the city must take action by targeting five major areas." more

The Plan includes

Make all city facilities, fleets and operations totally carbon-neutral by 2020.

Implement aggressive utility greenhouse-gas-reduction plans through dramatic increases in conservation, efficiency and renewable programs.

Require carbon neutrality on any new power-generation capacity and shut down existing utility facilities that emit greenhouse gas.

Make Austin building codes for residential and commercial properties the most energy efficient in the nation.

Develop a comprehensive plan for reducing greenhouse-gas emissions from sources in the community.

Provide mechanisms for all businesses and individuals to reduce their carbon footprint to zero.

Climate change may be the most critical issue we face today," Wynn says. "All the science points to catastrophic results if we don't quickly get a handle on this growing crisis."

We have a window of opportunity to change our ways,

In energy, in politics, in the shape of our communities,

in the way we transport ourselves, and in almost every sector.

To paraphrase Churchill and his view on Americans,

Once we have exhausted every other alternative,

We will do the right thing.


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Anonymous Anonymous said...

It makes me proud to live in an enlightened community--in which we had such clear thinking, ethical and responsible officials to vote for on the ballot.

7:57 AM  

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