Here’s what “swift, bold, and comprehensive political action” would look like. Public policy needs to include mandates for 80% emissions reduction by 2050, with emissions scaled back to 1990’s levels by 2010. That’s only three years from now, and it will take serious commitment and aggressive action. Governor Patrick’s decision to rejoin the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) was an important step in the right direction. But this only addresses one of the three primary targets for climate change action.
The three pillars of climate change action are: 1) reduction in emissions from electricity generation (this is what RGGI addresses); 2) reduction in emissions from transportation (this includes more public transportation=fewer cars on the road, city planning that is pedestrian-friendly, and more fuel efficiency in vehicles); and 3) government leading by example. This means that every level of state government should institute climate-friendly policies such as purchase of renewable energy and fuel-efficient vehicles, maximizing energy efficiency in new construction and renovation, and tax policies to reward such behavior in the private sector.
The hurricane that struck Louisiana yesterday was nicknamed Katrina by the National Weather Service. Its real name is global warming.?Unfortunately, very few people in America know the real name of Hurricane Katrina because the coal and oil industries have spent millions of dollars to keep the public in doubt about the issue.
So it is up to us to raise our voices to make clear to the politicians among us that the public is no longer in doubt. I’m looking forward to the shared energy in this week of discussion and action. The goal of the Walk is to build a movement that will not go away. Bringing people together to speak out through faith communities has the potential to include and activate lots of people who do not traditionally see themselves as social activists.
I invite you to join me. My synagogue has signed up to be a host congregation for the walk. You can join in for a city block, an hour, a day, a weekend, or the whole week. You can attend one of the informative and inspiring evening programs during the week of the Walk. You can volunteer to help at one of the host sites, either to help organize the evening program or to provide hospitality to the ongoing walkers. And please join us for the rally at Copley Square at 3 PM on March 24!
I hope to see you along the route or in Copley Square!