Americans are skilled at that combination of complacency and despair that assumes things cannot change and that we, the people, do not have the power to change them. Yet you have to be abysmally ignorant of history, as well as of current events, not to see that our country and our world have always been changing, are in the midst of great and terrible changes, and are occasionally changed through the power of the popular will and idealistic movements.
At the group's most recent conference, held earlier this month in Washington, D.C., more than 400 predominantly Republican state lawmakers and industry reps formulated sample legislation that will serve as templates for statehouses across the country.
Our natural world, so wondrous and so valuable to the quality of our lives and to the integrity of our breathing planet, needs a renewed commitment to its conservation.
Consider this: The federal government could, without any new laws, significantly restrict both the supply of, and demand for, fossil fuels. Only the state has the power to euthanize the fossil fuel industry. If the climate movement is serious about controlling Big Carbon it needs to get serious about Big Government.
It's one of the jokes of our time that we Americans have literally plowed trillions of dollars into what's called "national security" in the post-9/11 years without seriously facing climate change, a phenomenon that, if not brought under control, guarantees us a kind of insecurity we've never known.
While these laws won't keep all puppy mill puppies out of New York City pet stores, it's a critical step in the right direction. Taken together they will deeply impact the lives of dogs in puppy mills across the nation, and further New York City's reputation as a leader in animal welfare and safety.
We don't want to be blamed for unleashing economic activity that environmentally desecrates the most biologically diverse island in the Caribbean.
Many people see trade rules as distant, something to leave to the economists, unrelated to the greatest environmental challenge of our time: climate disruption. Take a look at some of the major happenings on trade in 2014 and you'll see, however, that trade rules and climate disruption are integrally linked.
While America recently elected a new and possibly anti-environmental Congress, we are still ending 2014 on a high note with two environmental victories. Both originated in the executive branch of government -- one in our national government and the other in the New York state government.
Without a comprehensive approach, consumers, seafood businesses, fishermen and the oceans will still be at risk from seafood fraud and illegal fishing.
President Obama has stated repeatedly that dealing with the climate crisis is a top priority for his remaining time in office. Nice rhetoric, but by signing this bill he is taking a step major step backwards in that process.
The fight to save the world's wildlife is about much more than the beauty of the animals or the illegal activity that would destroy them. Our wildlife is essential to preserving the biodiversity of our world and to expanding our understanding and appreciation of human and animal life and evolution.
In New York State, at least, sanity has prevailed. By banning fracking, Governor Andrew Cuomo has acted to protect his state's citizens from a rapacious industry whose presence would inevitably result in significant health and environmental consequences.
We need to take a hard look at what is causing this income disparity. Is it prejudice? Is it lack of economic or educational opportunities? Is the system corrupt, and if so, where? And what questions need to be asked to change that?
During the Christmas holidays, a star called sun is leading the way toward a clean energy future that will save us from the worst consequences of the climate crisis. The alternative of the energy monopolies? A huge lump of coal.
When you spend all of your time on the ground, you learn that this approach is broken. We all want power in the hands of people today, not decades from now.
A series of mobilizations involving civil disobedience, boycotts and creative community alternatives are being planned to lay the groundwork for the People's Global Climate Strike in December 2015 to coincide with the Paris UN Climate conference.
People filling up their cars lately have seen the price of gasoline drop below $3 a gallon, and there are indications we might be heading closer to $2 a gallon nationally some time next year. Americans with big-car lust might be thinking at this point, "Time to buy that Chevy Suburban."