‘Moment Of Truth For Your Climate Legacy’ — Enviro Leaders Write Lambasting Letter to Obama

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(EnviroNews DC News Bureau) — As President Obama galavants around the Alaskan Arctic with the press this week in a historic climate tour reinforcing his “All-of-the-Above” energy policy, a group of diverse and well-known environmental leaders says that philosophy just won’t cut it — and it collectively released a letter this morning telling the President just that. Mark Ruffalo, Ed Begley, Josh Fox, Winona LaDuke, Tim DeChristopher, Julia Butterfly Hill, and David Suzuki, to name a few, were amongst the letter’s 80-plus well-known signers.

The coalition called the President’s goal to reduce carbon emissions by 26-28 percent by 2025 “weak,” saying the plan is too lethargic considering earlier calls for the U.S. and China to reduce greenhouse gas emissions have been largely ignored.

The open letter quotes from Pope Francis’ recent “Climate Encyclical,” wherein the pontiff said, “Reducing greenhouse gases requires honesty, courage and responsibility” — something Obama’s current policy lacks, the letter said.

The group implores the President to change course and accelerate America’s zero-emission target date to 2025, instead of 2100 like was pledged at a meeting of G7 nations on June 8, earlier this year.

The letter titled, “Moment Of Truth For Your Climate Legacy” also takes aim at Obama’s “All-of-the-Above” energy policy, calling for its abandonment, and imploring the leader of the free world “protect all that we love” instead.

The letter says “international justice demands” the President change course before the UN Climate Conference, scheduled for Paris three months from now where leaders from 190 nations will assemble to address global warming. The letter states, “Three months is ample time for [Obama’s] administration to draft a legally binding zero emissions commitment for Paris.”

“Innovating our way to zero emissions through an all-hands-on-deck societal mobilization at wartime speed is not only our best hope for averting climate catastrophe – it is key to revitalizing our economy and putting America back to work,” the letter states.

“The Obama administration calls climate change a global threat on the scale of World War II, so why are they not responding with a World War II-scale emergency mobilization?” stated Margaret Klein Salamon, founder of The Climate Mobilization, and a spokeswoman for the signers-coalition.

Tom Weis, of Climate Crisis Solutions, was the initiator of the letter, and told EnviroNews in front of the White House in 2014 that America needs to lead with a “green energy moonshot” for the world to circumvent global disaster.

Tom Weis: ‘We need a green energy moonshot’

When asked whether the cattle and agricultural sectors would need a complete overhaul as well to meet the ambitions zero-emission demand laid out in the letter, Salamon told EnviroNews D.C. News Bureau this:

Yes, agriculture will need a major overhaul, which will accomplish several goals: adapt to already-occurring changes so as not to allow climate change to decimate our food supply, eliminate emissions, and sequester carbon. Local farming, permaculture, biochar, and reduction of meat consumption will likely all be key elements in the transition. Obviously, this will require a tremendous mobilization, which is precisely what we are calling for. Don’t forget: during WWII 40% of vegetables were grown at home, in Victory Gardens.

Obama’s policy and subsequent actions on climate issues have been under fire as of late over the Department of Interior’s (DOI) green-light for Shell to perforate the seafloor for oil in the Arctic’s Chukchi Sea. The President reinforced DOI’s decision just before heading to Alaska this week for what will surely be remembered, one way of the other, as a historic presidential climate tour.

Barack Obama defends decision to allow Shell to drill for oil in Arctic

Of further concern to environmentalists earlier this year, was the approval of two massive coal permits by DOI’s ancillary Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in Wyoming and Montana. The smaller of the two permits grants a hall-pass for producers in the Cowboy State’s infamous Powder River Basin (PRB) to pillage an additional 10 billions tons of coal from the area. This permit, if actualized and burned for fuel, would emit 16.9 billion tons of carbon pollution and compose the largest single-source carbon bomb in the history of the world.

BLM Approves Carbon Bomb Bigger Than KXL: More Wyoming Coal — Lots More

EnviroNews World News Headline: BLM Approves Carbon Bomb Bigger Than KXL: More Wyoming Coal — Lots More

EnviroNews World News Headline: BLM Approves Carbon Bomb Bigger Than KXL: More Wyoming Coal — Lots More

The PRB plan was introduced on May 29, 2015, but around the same time, the BLM also rolled out a proposal for Montana’s Miles City Field Office that would allow coal miners to go after 71.2 billion tons of coal there — in what would be a carbon bomb seven times the size of the PRB plan.

Moves like these quietly rolled out coal permits and Obama’s recent reinforcement of Shell’s Arctic drilling endeavors are opening the door for strong criticisms from environmental groups to be sure. Today, climate activists are eagerly awaiting a response from the Administration, or the President himself, on the ambitious demands introduced in this letter — demands the signers say are critical for maneuvering the rapidly unfolding climate crisis.

The short open letter to the President, can be read in its entirety just below.

AN OPEN LETTER TO PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA:
MOMENT OF TRUTH FOR YOUR CLIMATE LEGACY

September 2, 2015

Dear Mr. President,

The moment of truth for your climate legacy has arrived. More than four years ago, you received an open letter from some of the nation’s top planetary protection leaders urging you and the president of China to publicly declare a global climate emergency by committing our respective nations to 80% carbon cuts by 2020.

Because that urgent call was not heeded, we have lost precious time in the race to save civilization and must now set our sights even higher. It is with a deepening sense of dread over the fate of humanity that we call on you today to use the powers of your presidency to champion a U.S. goal of net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2025.

Innovating our way to zero emissions through an all-hands-on-deck societal mobilization at wartime speed is not only our best hope for averting climate catastrophe – it is key to revitalizing our economy and putting America back to work.

In three months, you and leaders from more than 190 nations will gather in Paris for the UN Climate Conference to negotiate a global climate accord. Intergenerational justice demands that the centerpiece of that accord be zero emissions, a goal UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon calls “ambitious but achievable.” Three months is ample time for your administration to draft a legally binding zero emissions commitment for Paris.

As you know, Pope Francis wrote in his recent encyclical: “Reducing greenhouse gases requires honesty, courage and responsibility, above all on the part of those countries which are more powerful and pollute the most.” Since the U.S. historically contributed the most to global climate pollution, and is in the strongest position to respond, we have a moral imperative to lead the zero emissions charge in Paris.

The current weak U.S. target of 26-28% carbon cuts by 2025 cannot be described as honest, courageous or responsible in the face of a crisis that threatens the continued existence of humanity. To pretend otherwise is to
recklessly gamble with the fate of future generations. For the sake of our children, and those to follow, it is time to stop promoting “Allof-the-Above” and start protecting all that we love.

Respectfully,

Lindsey Allen, Executive Director, Rainforest Action Network
Craig S. Altemose, Founding Executive Director, Better Future Project
Rev. Jim Antal, Conference Minister & President, Massachusetts Conference, United Church of Christ*
Jean Arnold, Co-Founder, Association for the Tree of Life
Lydia Avila, Executive Director, Energy Action Coalition
Harvard Ayers, Author & Executive Director, Climate Voices US*
Ed Begley, Jr., Actor & Activist
Medea Benjamin, Author & Co-Founder, CODEPINK
Michael Benton, Professor of Vertebrate Paleontology, University of Bristol*
Ven. Santussika Bhikkhuni, Founder, Buddhist Climate Action Network & Director, Buddhist Global Relief
Brent Blackwelder, President Emeritus, Friends of the Earth U.S.*
David Blittersdorf, President/CEO, AllEarth Renewables, Inc.
Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi, Chairperson, Buddhist Global Relief
Ryan Brill, Co-Founder, The Climate Mobilization
Lester Brown, Former President, Earth Policy Institute
Schuyler Brown, Founder & Director, Sightful
Alison Burchell, Co-Founder, Clean Energy Action
Anne B. Butterfield, President, Clean Energy Action
Sandy Butterfield, Former Chief Engineer, National Wind Technology Center, NREL*
Stephen Bygrave, CEO, Beyond Zero Emissions
Patrick Carolan, Executive Director, Franciscan Action Network
Richard Cizik, Founder & President, New Evangelical Partnership for the Common Good
David Cobb, Outreach Director & Founding Member, Move to Amend*
Gerry Dameron, Executive Director, Go Green Culture Foundation
Lisa Daniels, Founder & Executive Director, Windustry
Laura Dawn, Founder & Director, Art Not War
John W. Day, Distinguished Professor Emeritus, Louisiana State University*
Alice & Lincoln Day, Filmmakers, Scarred Lands and Wounded Lives: The Environmental Footprint of War
Michael Dowd, Eco-Theologian & Author
Ian Dunlop, Member, The Club of Rome & Former Chair, Australian Coal Association*
Rev. Gerald L. Durley, Pastor Emeritus, Providence Baptist Church*
Tim DeChristopher, Founder, Climate Disobedience Center
Brock Evans, President, Endangered Species Coalition*
Jodie Evans, Author & Co-Founder, CODEPINK
Ed Fallon, Founder, Great March for Climate Action & Director, Climate Action NOW!
John Foran, Author & Co-Director, The Climate Justice Project
Josh Fox, Director, GASLAND, GASLAND Part II
Paul Gilding, Author, The Great Disruption & Former Executive Director, Greenpeace International*
Paul Gipe, Author, Wind Energy Comes of Age
Leslie Glustrom, Co-Founder, Clean Energy Action
Dave Harman, Author & Finance Director, Climate Voices US*
Randy Hayes, Founder, Rainforest Action Network & Executive Director, Foundation Earth
Ove Hoegh-Guldberg, Marine Scientist & 2014 Prince Albert II Climate Change Awardee
Richard Heinberg, Senior Fellow, Post Carbon Institute*
Marshall Herskovitz, Former President, Producers Guild of America*
Julia Butterfly Hill, Activist, Author & Founder, Circle of Life
Lisa Hoyos, Director & Co-Founder, Climate Parents
Lee-Sean Huang, Co-Founder & Creative Director, Foossa
Suzanne Jones, Executive Director, Eco-Cycle
G. Paul Kemp, Coastal Oceanographer & Geologist
Ray Kocur, Director, The Youth Climate Report, A Climate of Change
Robert Kolodny, Founder & Coordinator, New York Buddhist Climate Action Network
Jack Kornfield, Co-Founder, Spirit Rock Center and Insight Meditation Society
Winona LaDuke, Executive Director, Honor the Earth
Rabbi Michael Lerner, Editor, Tikkun magazine & Chair, The Network of Spiritual Progressives
Itzcuauhtli Martinez, Youth Performance Director, Earth Guardians
Xiuhtezcatl Martinez, Youth Director, Earth Guardians
Marti Matsch, Deputy Director, Eco-Cycle
Chloe Maxmin, Co-Founder, Divest Harvard
Brian D. McLaren, Author, Activist & Theologian
Michael Mielke, Co-Founder, Association for the Tree of Life
Moby, Musician & Activist
Micah Parkin, Executive Director, 350 Colorado
Daniel Pinchbeck, Author & Founder, Center for Planetary Culture
Tamara Rose, Founder & Executive Director, Earth Guardians
Mark Ruffalo, Actor & Activist, The Solutions Project*
Vanessa Rule, Co-Founder & Organizing Director, Mothers Out Front*
Margaret Klein Salamon, Founder & Director, The Climate Mobilization
Yeb Saño, Former Climate Change Commissioner of the Philippines,
Climate Activist & Leader, The People’s Pilgrimage
Marshall Saunders, Founder & President, Citizens’ Climate Lobby*
Ezra Silk, Co-Founder, The Climate Mobilization
David Spratt, Co-Author, Climate Code Red
Philip Sutton, Manager, RSTI (Research and Strategy for Transition Initiation) & Co-Author, Climate Code Red
David Suzuki, Co-Founder, David Suzuki Foundation
Terry Tamminen, Former Secretary, California Environmental Protection
Agency & Co-Founder, R20 Regions of Climate Action*
Joe Uehlein, Founder & Executive Director, Labor Network for Sustainability
Lise Van Susteren, Advisory Board, Center for Health and the Global Environment, Harvard School of Public Health*
James A. Walker, Former President, American Wind Energy Association*
Peter Ward, Professor of Biology and of Earth and Space Sciences, University of Washington*
Tom Weis, President, Climate Crisis Solutions
Terry Tempest Williams, Activist, Naturalist & Award-Winning Author
Diane Wilson, Author, An Unreasonable Woman
Rev. Lennox Yearwood, Jr., President & CEO, Hip Hop Caucus

*Institutional affiliation listed for identification purposes only

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5 Responses to “‘Moment Of Truth For Your Climate Legacy’ — Enviro Leaders Write Lambasting Letter to Obama”

  1. David Kent
    September 3, 2015 at 1:55 pm #

    While President Obama’s effort to date may be insufficient, they are critically important. As with all large issues that need public support to stimulate action, that support is often gained step-wise, followed by rapid acceptance once a threshold is met. Look to gay marriage as an example, but there are many, including going back to the abolition of slavery by President Lincoln. It’s common for a President to have to fight both the obstruction of the “other side” and the impatience of “his side.”

    More in this article: http://thedakepage.blogspot.com/2015/09/president-obama-went-to-alaska-climate-change.htmlhttp://environews.tv/090215-moment-of-truth-for-your-climate-legacy-enviro-leaders-write-lambasting-letter-to-obama-1/

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. The Pope & Obama’s Climate Legacy » Today's America - September 24, 2015

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  3. The Pope & Obama's Climate Legacy | Bonjr.com - September 24, 2015

    […] This brings us to President Obama and the question of his climate legacy, which is not looking so good. I won’t rehash the Obama administration’s schizophrenic climate agenda here, other than to say that the president’s recent 3-day trip to Alaska sure brought it into stark focus. […]

  4. The Pope & Obama’s Climate Legacy | PopularResistance.Org - September 25, 2015

    […] This brings us to President Obama and the question of his climate legacy, which is not looking so good. I won’t rehash the Obama administration’s schizophrenic climate agenda here, other than to say that the president’s recent 3-day trip to Alaska sure brought it into stark focus. […]

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