While Obama's carbon pollution standards are an important step toward reducing our country's reliance on fossil fuels, they are not enough to force the shift toward clean, renewable energy. These weak standards demonstrate his unwillingness to take the bold actions required to mitigate the catastrophic impacts of climate disruption.
On September 23, NYC will host the United Nations Climate Summit, one of the foremost events to address reducing carbon and other greenhouse gas emissions that threaten the quality of life for billions of people. As New York offers a showcase for how to have a vibrant economy and low carbon emissions, it is especially fitting the conference is here.
Since the industrial age began some 250 years ago, roughly 580 billion tons of fossil-fuel and land-fixed carbon -- more than two trillion tons of carbon dioxide -- have been released into the atmosphere, leading to a shift in the global heat balance and a likely 1°C increase in surface temperature. At the current rate, a trillion tons of carbon, or some 2°C of warming, could be reached as early as 2040.