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Opinion Climate change is scary, but here are 5 reasons for hope

21:25  14 february  2020
21:25  14 february  2020 Source:   usatoday.com

Jeff Bezos launches $10 billion fund to fight climate change

  Jeff Bezos launches $10 billion fund to fight climate change Bezos Earth Fund will fund efforts to protect the planet from effects of climate change."Climate change is the biggest threat to our planet," Bezos wrote in his post. "I want to work alongside others both to amplify known ways and to explore new ways of fighting the devastating impact of climate change on this planet we all share.

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This will be a pivotal year for confronting climate change. Election results in the United States will help to shape policies that will be felt for decades to come. It also will be a year of reckoning and recalibration in light of the United Nations' failed Madrid climate conference last year.  With so much at stake, this could be a now-or-never time for securing a better climate future.

Jeff Bezos pledges $10 billion to combat climate change

  Jeff Bezos pledges $10 billion to combat climate change Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos announced today he plans to contribute $10 billion toward fighting climate change through the creation of a new philanthropic project called the Bezos Earth Fund. "Climate change is the biggest threat to our planet," Bezos wrote in an Instagram post. "I want to work alongside others both to amplify known ways and to explore new ways of fighting the devastating impact of climate change on this planet we all share." He saysHe says the Bezos Earth Fund will support scientists, activists and NGOs, with the first grants slated to go out sometime this summer. Besides that information, Bezos didn't provide many details on the fund.

Ma Jun et al. standing in front of a screen: Swedish environmental activist Greta Thunberg, 17, at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, on Jan. 21, 2020.© Michael Probst/AP Swedish environmental activist Greta Thunberg, 17, at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, on Jan. 21, 2020.

Here’s our starting point. U.S. greenhouse gas emissions went down from 2005 to 2016. That’s unprecedented progress. But emissions rose sharply in 2018 before falling again last year.

Energy efficiency becomes the norm

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Is all lost? I think not, for five reasons:

1. The global economy is growing faster than emissions. That means energy efficiency is increasing without an erosion in economic growth.

2. Energy efficiency is moving from the margins toward a new normal in the products we use — think how commonplace LED light bulbs are today.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti signs city’s enhanced ‘Green New Deal’

  Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti signs city’s enhanced ‘Green New Deal’ Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti on Monday signed an executive directive aimed at boosting the city’s Green New Deal initiative to fight climate change. © Michael Tran/FilmMagic HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA - NOVEMBER 19: Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti speaks onstage at the ceremony honoring Kristen Bell and Idina Menzel with a Star on The Hollywood Walk of Fame held on November 19, 2019 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Michael Tran/FilmMagic) In signing the executive directive – Garcetti’s 25th since taking office – the 49-year-old mayor insisted the “stakes could not be higher.

3. The price of solar and wind power has plunged, and there’s good reason to expect the cost of energy storage, key to an electric power grid reliant on renewable energy, to decline as well.

4. The supply of clean energy resources is growing at the same time prices have declined. Not long ago, offshore wind generation was dismissed as a pipe dream. Now, the potential for electric power generated from clean, steady sources is becoming a reality.

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5. State and local leaders set building and energy-use regulations. The same goes for zoning and land use rules. And state and local governments — from California to New York and many places in between  — are proving to be living laboratories for climate policies and practices.

Trump administration slows progress

But don't relax yet. We still must end our fossil fuel addiction, and that won’t be easy because fossil fuels are bolted into the foundation of how our world works. With billions of dollars invested in fossil fuel-burning power plants, corporations and their investors will continue to push back against abandoning their assets.

Australia's 'black summer' provides glimmer of hope for climate policy action

  Australia's 'black summer' provides glimmer of hope for climate policy action Australia's deadly wildfires have opened up a small window of opportunity for the country to break a decade-long impasse on climate policy, as some politicians and big business push for major change. © Reuters/WILLY KURNIAWAN Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison reacts after attending the inauguration of Indonesia's President Joko Widodo for the second term, at the House of Representatives building in Jakarta Independent politician Zali Steggall this week unveiled proposed legislation to target zero carbon emissions by 2050, aiming to take advantage of a subtle shift in rhetoric from the conservative Liberal-led coaliti

Despite progress on the state and local levels and the astonishing rise of young grassroots insurgents such as Greta Thunberg, it’s difficult to secure durable victories without federal government support. The Trump administration has put its thumb on the scale by trying to keep states like California from taking meaningful climate action. The administration, in cooperation with the Senate, also is remaking the federal judiciary into its own image. This will impair climate policy-making for a generation.

So why continue to hope? Why fight?  When we look back at past predictions, it’s clear that climate science got it right. We are starting to feel the effects of spewing out all those greenhouse gases. Business as usual for our fossil-fueled economies and heedless politics have created a global climate crisis, and it has started to damage how and even where we live.

But that’s not the end of the story.

Instead, let’s make “past performance is no guarantee of future results” the rallying cry of climate activists. The rising arc of damage can still be altered.  Besides, there is no Planet B.

Dutch farmers protest in The Hague against emissions policy

  Dutch farmers protest in The Hague against emissions policy THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — Angry Dutch farmers converged on The Hague on Wednesday in the latest protest against the government's plans to rein in emissions of nitrogen oxide. THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — Angry Dutch farmers converged on The Hague on Wednesday in the latest protest against the government's plans to rein in emissions of nitrogen oxide.

Nancy E. Anderson is executive director of The Sallan Foundation Inc.

You can read diverse opinions from our Board of Contributors and other writers on the Opinion front page, on Twitter @usatodayopinion and in our daily Opinion newsletter. To respond to a column, submit a comment to letters@usatoday.com.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Climate change is scary, but here are 5 reasons for hope

Jane Fonda Debuts "Fire Drill Fridays" in L.A. With Joaquin Phoenix, Norman Lear .
The actor and activist applauded the 'Joker' star for "walking the talk" with his award season activism, and was also joined at the rally by Rooney and Kate Mara.In typical fashion, a red-coated Fonda brought a number of famous friends with her, including Joaquin Phoenix with partner Rooney Mara and her sister Kate Mara, as well as Norman Lear, Brooklyn Decker, June Diane Raphael, Paul Scheer, Rainn Wilson, Bonnie Wright, Rosanna Arquette and Catherine Keener. The actors served as presenters for the number of climate change activists in attendance, many of whom have been affected by fossil fuel drilling in the Southern California area.

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