Climate Change at the Policy Level
The title of this entry may make you think you’ve already read it. My last entry was “Food at the Policy Level,” and, yes, there is supposed to be a theme here. The theme is that when we engage policymakers on the issues of critical concern to the well-being of our communities (access to food, global warming, etc.), the resolute efforts of donors and nonprofit organizations are exponentially leveraged to create real, lasting impact. Real change requires this three-legged stool of private, government and non-profit resources.
This week, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco stated that the government must to start to do its part in the fight on global warming being so valiantly fought by environmentalist individuals and organizations across the country. The court’s decision has “voided the new regulations for 2008-2011 model year vehicles and told the Transportation Department to produce new rules taking into account the value of reducing greenhouse gas emissions.” According to a report in the New York Times, “It was the third federal court ruling in seven months pressing regulators to take the risk of climate change into consideration as they set standards for industries that emit carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases produced when oil, coal and natural gas are burned to produce energy.”
In the article, Kieran Suckling, policy director of the Center for Biological Diversity , called the decision “a seismic change moment in terms of environmental regulation of all kinds in this country.” Indeed, with the government on board (even if via coercion of the courts), the prospects for impacting the impending climate crisis are much more promising.
What can we do to bring (and keep) climate change to the policy level?
• Know where the candidates stand on environmental issues
• Ask your representative to support the Safe Climate Act
• Keep a watch on legislation regarding the environment
• Tell your senators to make sure the new farm bill protects the environment