The last generation

We are the first generation to feel the sting of climate change, and we are the last generation that can do something about it.” - Washington State Gov. Jay Inslee

Years ago, many of us thought of global warming as something that would happen “someday.” As it turns out, “someday” is now.

Since 2000, we’ve experienced 16 of the 17 warmest years on record  including 2016, the hottest year ever recorded. As the oceans warm, we’re learning that it’s no longer a question of if the Antarctic ice sheet will melt but how fast.

We’re fast approaching the point when scientists say climate change could tip toward catastrophe, with sea levels rising faster along our coasts, and storms growing more powerful, and droughts and other forms of extreme weather more disruptive.

A two-part challenge

Nobody, of course, wants to leave the next generation a world where heat waves, floods, droughts and worse are the “new normal,” everyday events in an increasingly dangerous world.

If we accept, as we must, the broad scientific consensus that our pollution is accelerating these changes, then this is our challenge: to stop putting carbon into our air, and to repower our society with clean, renewable energy such as solar, wind and energy efficiency.

The good news is that solutions like solar, wind and efficiency not only reduce carbon pollution. They also clean up our air, reduce asthma attacks, and promote energy independence.

The Clean Power Plan

Over the past eight years, we’ve made significant progress to reduce global warming pollution and to make sure we leave kids growing up today a cleaner, healthier planet.

For example, in June 2014 President Obama moved forward with what The New York Times called “the strongest action ever taken by an American president to tackle climate change.”

His plan is called the Clean Power Plan and it would limit — for the first time ever — carbon pollution from dirty power plants.

Why power plants? The country’s more than 500 coal-fired power plants are America’s #1 source of global warming pollution — even bigger than cars and trucks. 

In fact, the Clean Power Plan would cut this pollution at least 30 percent by the end of the next decade. By giving the states the option to replace dirty coal plants with wind, solar and energy efficiency, it also has the potential to speed the shift to clean power. And the plan is an essential building block to the success of the president’s climate deal with China — which is itself the cornerstone to a broader global agreement. 

More than 8 million supporters

A recent poll shows that 2/3 of all Americans back the idea. Americans submitted more than 8 million comments asking the EPA to take action on the issue. More than 600,000 of these comments have come from our members and supporters.

Unfortunately, some members of Congress — including backers of the fossil fuel industry and those who still deny the overwhelming science behind climate change  have vowed to do everything in their power to block the plan.

What can and must we do to see that the Clean Power Plan remains in place?

First, in Congress, we must persuade enough representatives and senators to defend the Clean Power Plan and other necessary protections from repeal and rollback. 

Second, outside of Washington, we must persuade both Republican and Democratic governors who support clean energy to stand behind the Clean Power Plan  and thereby signal to Congress and the courts that blocking this plan will be politically unpopular.

Third, we must keep showing all of these officials that local leaders and the public are with us and willing to speak out on this issue  because we know when the public leads, our leaders will, eventually, follow. 

Protect our children's future

That’s what happened when we helped mobilize public opinion and support to turn back attacks on solar in Arizona, Colorado and New Mexico and won new commitments to solar in Austin and Houston, Athens and Atlanta, and New York State and California, among other places. Over the last 10 years, we’ve helped establish dozens of pro-solar programs, including the biggest: California’s Million Solar Roofs Initiative.

As Gov. Inslee pointed out, global warming is the challenge of our generation. Protecting our children’s future requires us to stop dumping carbon into our atmosphere and there’s no better place to start than with America’s #1 global warming polluters. 

 

Global Warming Updates

News Release | Environment Texas

Weekend Flooding Consistent with Scientific Predictions for Global Warming

AUSTIN— A massive downpour in Austin this weekend that led to significant flooding and cancellation of the Austin City Limits festival is consistent with scientific predictions of global warming, said Austin non-profit Environment Texas. The group pointed to their 2012 report confirming that extreme rainstorms are happening 29 percent more frequently in Texas since 1948.

“As the old saying goes, when it rains, it pours. Global warming is creating a new boom and bust cycle, with severe drought interrupted by heavier extreme rainstorms,” said Luke Metzger, Director of Environment Texas. “We need to heed scientists’ warnings that this dangerous trend is linked to global warming, and do everything we can to cut carbon pollution today.”

> Keep Reading
News Release | Environment Texas Research and Policy Center

Texas Power Plants Pollute as much as 45.9 Million Cars

AUSTIN – Amid Texas’ devastating statewide drought, a new report from Environment Texas Research & Policy Center finds that Texas ranks number one in the country for most carbon pollution from its power plants, the state’s largest single source of global warming pollution. Scientists predict that extreme weather events, like droughts, will become more frequent and severe for future generations, unless we cut the dangerous carbon pollution fueling the problem. 

> Keep Reading
Report | Environment Texas Research and Policy Center

America's Dirtiest Power Plants

Global warming is one of the most profound threats of our time, and we’re already starting to feel the impacts – especially when it comes to extreme weather. From Hurricane Sandy to devastating droughts and deadly heat waves, extreme weather events threaten our safety, our health and our environment, and scientists predict things will only get worse for future generations unless we cut the dangerous global warming pollution that is fueling the problem.

> Keep Reading
News Release | Environment Texas

New Study: Nation’s Energy System Threatened By Global Warming-Related Severe Weather

Austin, TX— The country’s energy system is threatened by severe weather events driven by global warming according to a new study released Thursday by the U.S. Department of Energy. This report builds on numerous other studies that have made it clear that global warming is real, it is already starting to have devastating effects on our communities, and those effects will only grow worse unless we cut emissions of the carbon pollution fueling global warming now.

> Keep Reading
Blog Post

President Obama's Plan to Tackle Global Warming Pollution | Luke Metzger

After several years of record-breaking temperatures, rampant drought and wildfire, and punishing extreme weather events like Superstorm Sandy, President Obama unveiled his administration’s plan to confront the challenge of global warming in a speech at Georgetown University on Tuesday, June 25. 

> Keep Reading

Pages

View AllRSS Feed