by Lindsay E. Brown
Speech Gives Climate Goals Center Stage
President Obama called for renewed efforts to tackle climate change and develop alternative energy in his inaugural address on Monday. He did so in the context of urging Americans to work together to “face the realities of our time.”
Both President Obama’s and Mitt Romney’s failure to discuss climate change throughout most of the election and during the debates stirred up quite a controversy among environmental and health advocates and groups. That’s why when the President addressed the topic so forcefully during his speech, everyone was taken aback. It was the most he has said on climate change in quite a while.
“We will respond to the threat of climate change, knowing that failure to do so would betray our children and future generations,” Mr. Obama said. “Some may still deny the overwhelming judgment of science, but none can avoid the devastating impact of raging fires, and crippling drought, and more powerful storms.”
The 2013 Green Inaugural Ball: A Party With Purpose
Laura joined policymakers, celebrities, and environmental, conservation and clean tech communities to honor President Barack Obama at the Green Inaugural Ball. The event took place at the Newseum in downtown Washington D.C. and featured musical performances by will.i.am, soul singer Mayer Hawthorne, and jazz musician Trombone Shorty. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) was in attendance, as was Bill Nye “The Science Guy,” Tate Donovan and Giancarlo Esposito. Outgoing Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson and departing Interior Secretary Ken Salazar also made brief speeches from the Newseum’s main stage. Vice President Biden spoke to the crowd about addressing climate change.
Why I’m Happy TSA Dropped the Body Scanners
Over the years these body scanners have been highly controversial because the devices use low levels of radiation to create what resembles a nude image of screened passengers. Since 2007, the TSA has used full-body scannersto try to prevent terrorists from sneaking explosives onto planes.
Privacy advocates — like the author of this article — and others praised the move, saying the scanners violated the privacy of passengers and exposed them to unhealthy levels of radiation — a charge the TSA denies.
December Saw Record-Breaking New Wind Power in US
The U.S. installed a 5.5 gigawatts of wind power in December to cap off a year that saw a record 13.2 gigawatts of wind energy, according to a report by research firm Bloomberg New Energy Finance. Wind projects now account for 6 percent of the nation’s total generating capacity. According to Bloomberg New Energy Finance, wind power prices have dropped by more than 21 percent since 2010.
Worth knowing: It’s been reported that Google has invested $200 million in the 161-megawatt Spinning Spur Wind Project built by French firm EDF Renewable Energy in the Texas Panhandle near Amarillo.
A Quick, Awesome Must-Read on Climate Change
The latest edition of MIT professor (and Republican!) Kerry Emanuel’s What We Know About Climate Change has been published. According to Mother Jones, it’s “the most comprehensive, readable, BS-free rundown on the topic that you’re likely to find.” Emanuel’s latest edition can be read in a day, and offers valuable insights on climate change in an apolitical, detail-oriented fashion.
The Caliber Collection: Upcycling Recovered Guns Into Jewelry
No matter where you stand on the heated gun issue, you can’t argue this statement: the caliber of a city is raised when illegal guns are taken off its streets. Jewelry for a Cause, Newark Mayor Cory Booker and other Newark officials teamed up to create the Caliber Collection, an endeavor to take recently seized firearms and bullet casings and repurpose them into high-end bracelets. A portion of the proceeds from the Caliber Collection go back to the Newark Police Department to benefit their gun buyback amnesty program. Find out how this incredible project works!
David Attenborough – Humans are Plague on Earth
Tell us how you really feel, Sir David. The famed British naturalist and television presenter who has lent his voice to documentaries like Blue Planet, Planet Earth and Frozen Planet, had some harsh words for humanity.
“We are a plague on the Earth,” Attenborough told the Radio Times, as reported by the Telegraph. “It’s coming home to roost over the next 50 years or so. Either we limit our population growth or the natural world will do it for us, and the natural world is doing it for us right now,” he said.
Dolphin Swims to Diver for Help in Hawaii
A group of divers were watching manta rays off the coast of Hawaii when a distressed dolphin swam over and showed that he’d been snagged. “I gestured ‘come here,’ and he swam right to me,” the hero diver said. The dolphin even went up to the surface for air then came back to the diver. Luckily, the divers captured it all in this heartwarming video.
We know how incredibly intelligent and complex dolphins are, and I highly recommend watching the documentary “The Cove” to learn more about these beautiful animals and what you can do to help them.
Photo credit: Karen Ballard