In this weekend's New York Times Magazine Jon Gertner ("Why Isn't the Brain Green?") evokes the Pew Research Center poll taken in late January that ranked concern about climate change in last place of the top 20 concerns Americans have.
This is alarming, since scientists are repeatedly discovering that global warming impacts are accelerating at a pace more quickly than initially expected. Hence our need to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions is more urgent than ever.
From all corners of our society -- whether it is over 3000 scientists that make up the IPCC or President Obama, Al Gore, business leaders, or even notable personalities -- we are hearing the call to action. Further, I and others posit if we merge the solutions to meeting our economic and environmental crises, we can create a long term sustainable economy while stemming the worst potential consequences of climate change (and economic collapse).
As Earth Day approaches, we are seeing lots of appeals and reminders that Earth Day is every day in order to amplify the voices of scientists and environmentalists trying to raise the alarm bells and advance solutions to our climate crisis.
One such person who is joining the call and shining the light on science and solutions is actor, activist, and Global Green board member Leonardo DiCaprio. As part of announcing a unique eBay auction he agreed to participate in, Leonardo recently joined those reminding us of the need to act by saying "as science continues to point for the need to urgently act on climate change, we need everyone -- individuals, nonprofits, politicians, and business -- to take action. We must urge our leaders to take the next step and arrive at the Copenhagen Climate meeting later this year with the next agreement in hand. President Obama and our leaders in Congress need all of our help to overcome the special interests that continually fight climate
and clean energy legislation."
With the economic and environmental crises converging, we must find ways to address them together. For example, we spend more money in this nation on energy bills for schools than textbooks and computers combined -- every school in every neighborhood in America can be part of solving global warming, and help put more money into classrooms. We need governments to urgently address the environmental and economic crises together by shifting subsidies for oil, gas and coal -- estimated at $300 billion USD annually -- toward solar and renewable technologies to create jobs, improve the lives of those in need, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
This Earth Day, remember that we need to take action to protect our environment every day...and of course making donations to worthy, green charities who advocate on our collective behalf is one critical way to take action.
Like all nonprofits, Global Green is finding creative ways to raise money in this economic climate, and are grateful that Leonardo agreed to participate in our Earth Day eBay auction. There are many items he donated to help raise funds for Global Green, but the most unique is the chance to walk the red carpet and meet Leonardo DiCaprio at the premiere of his next film. The auction runs through 7pm pacific on Earth Day and can be found at www.ebay.com/globalgreen
The green auction not only raises funds for Global Green's National Green Schools and Climate Solutions initiatives, it is also a reminder for the need to take action on climate change now.