2013: Breakthrough Year On Climate?

My first "local" friend, sweetest lady ever!

According to the Sierra Club, 2013 has the potential to be a breakthrough year on climate, and they are calling on the president to use his full executive authority. The Sierra Club believes Mr. Obama was largely silent on climate change during the presidential campaign, much to the dismay of supporters in the environmental movement. After winning reelection, the president promised to make climate change one of his top three priorities. The president, in an interview for TIME's Person of the Year award, said the economy, immigration, climate change and energy would be at the top of his agenda for the next four years.

Sierra Club wants to see those words translate into action, and will pressure the Obama Administration during the first 100 days of his second term with a series of town halls, rallies, reports and letter-writing events. The Sierra Club states that while Mr. Obama “gets” climate change, a “considerable gap” still exists between words and deeds. Further stating that Mr. Obama should use his State of the Union address in February to "talk very clearly about both the threats and the opportunities posed by climate change and clean energy." In Monday's inaugural address he gave what some say may be the primer version of what is yet to come. 
One of my favorite photos from Nepal, Boy fishing .

There is new political backing for action on global warming in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.That storm has sparked debates in Congress about coastal infrastructure and the long-term impact of rising sea levels. 

I would ask, “how much longer can we drag our collective feet on changing our behavior when it comes to climate change?"

Passing a large climate bill during the new Congress would be difficult, given the strong GOP opposition in both chambers. Many Republicans are skeptical that global warming is occurring, while others attribute the trend to non-human factors which leads them to oppose the emissions rules and emphasis on costlier clean-energy technology. While the House is still under GOP control, the Sierra Club argues we should be urging President Obama to take matters into his owns hands; President Obama could bypass Congress by issuing regulations to enhance clean-energy investment and curtail carbon emissions. 

Waterfall that only a year prior was known as a stream.
I wonder how feasible this actually is, but most of all, how likely is it to happen? 

If we don’t do something in 2013 are we past the point of no return?

I’m counting on the California Leadership to pave the way for sensible climate legislation. I realize that climate change is not a fun topic, but it is one that I have witnessed firsthand while in the Himalayan Mountains of Nepal, leaving NO questions in my mind about the legitimacy of the issue itself.

Photo Credits: Deanna Fernandez

Turintogreen Student Design Competition

So, I suppose we should have made a test run at getting our schedules in order before being all State of the Blog on readers, but we're ambitious-- and pretty stinkin' excited to get into the blog groove!  We probably should have waited until after we submitted seven energy action plans for review and submitted our final project reports and billing for our Energy Advisers to Valley Cities (Tom Jordan, if you're reading this--it is coming!).  C'est la vie! 

Here's what happened: I bungled the auto-scheduling for Money Monday, got Tuesday's post on green lawn care up just before midnight on Tuesday (it counts), missed Wellness Wednesday, and now Believe it or Not is going to come out on Friday.  Humph.  Progress is slow, but I'm in it for the long haul. I hope you are too.  

Thank goodness Dee was on top of the situation and had her Friday post in early so we can at least claim 4 out of five posts! 

As I’m going through my email looking for inspiration for a blog post, I came across information about a new student competition. What excited me about this particular competition is that it challenges young people to think outside the box. It is a multidiscipline competition that seeks to “transform or even replace the current models of urban management, life and development”. Students from disciplines like Architecture, Interior Design, Landscape Architecture, Engineering, Horticulture, and Urban Planning are invited to addresses issues of overcrowding, food supply, renewable resources, climate and social changes; while coping with global economic cycles. This could be a game changer for the vast majority of the earth’s population. 

Many Americans have no idea how it feels to live in a developing country where the infrastructure and housing needs are astronomical. Where drinkable tap water and a functional waste management system are only stories they have heard of but never seen. While doing my Graduate research I was able to spend a considerable amount of time in Nepal. Kathmandu Valley is one of the most beautiful places on earth; however, it has seen such an invasive amount of population growth that the area cannot sustain its population of 2.51 million.  With a population increase of 60.93% over the past 10 years bringing the density to 4408/sq km (one km is equivalent to 0.621371190 miles), that would make it roughly 6083/sq mile, can you imagine? 

Now you can understand why I’m so up in arms excited about this competition.

According to the competition website the deadline for submissions is December 21, 2012. That doesn’t give a whole lot of time, so students get busy! Oh, and the prize is 150 days in Italy with a daily stipend, the ability to work with some of the most influential architects, planners, engineers and designers on the planet; all working to bring your design into fruition, and as an added bonus, your ideas also get published. That would be enough to motivate me, talk about instant recognition on a global scale.

Okay, so enough of me preaching to the choir, if you’re a student or a prior student that graduated since 01/01/11 or know a student within these disciplines, please forward the link and help them change lives for so many people while jump-starting their careers.