|Group of Breaker Boys in #9 Breaker, Hughestown Borough, Pennsylvania Coal Co. Smallest boy is Angelo Ross (see photos and labels #1953 & #1954). Location: Pittston, Pennsylvania. (LOC) (Photo credit: The Library of Congress)|
Earlier today President Obama announced new proposals for regulating carbon emissions from power plants.
They're a good thing -- some advocates think they could be stronger; others are powerfully supportive. To me, most of all, they seem obvious, the kind of thing that should have happened many administrations ago, and that I’m glad are happening now.
And the reason they're happening now is...you.
As we've built a climate movement together with our allies and all of you, politicians have finally begun to sense that they have some space to act, and some pressure to move into that space. If Beyond Coal and Mountain Justice Summer and countless other organizations and campaigns hadn’t made coal an easy target; if the Keystone and fossil fuel divestment campaigns hadn’t turned up the heat on climate change; if hundreds of thousands of you hadn’t marched and written and emailed, then today’s announcement would not have come.
And since much much much more needs to happen, we'll all need to turn up the volume in the months ahead. That’s why it’s so essential that we all turn out in glorious force in New York City the weekend of September 20 for the People's Climate March -- save the date and RSVP as soon as possible. We're going to raise the volume high enough that the momentum for change will accelerate, not stall.
By themselves, these individual decisions -- about power plant emissions, about Keystone and tar sands, about coal ports and fracking, about fossil fuel subsidies and divestment -- don’t turn the tide on climate change. But make no mistake: movement pressure is starting to bring results.
The pieces are in place for real progress, but the pieces won’t move themselves. We need to keep showing up. Now more than ever.
Bill McKibben for the whole team at 350.org
What about you?
As the son of a coal miner who died from complications of black lung disease, I harbor no nostalgia about coal mining in my part of Pennsylvania. On the other hand, I personally place US energy independence above the uncertainty of stopping global warming by closing our coal-fired power plants. I think we should do what can reasonably be done to cut carbon emissions… but not at the expense of national security or prosperity.