Here in Chicago, the buildings are part of the solution. The skyline that makes our city beautiful is also making it great: energy efficient, sustainable, resilient and ready to face the challenges of a new generation.
Too often, government is satisfied with regulation and enforcement. Yet in New York, the Mayor's Office has created effective collaborative mechanisms to go further, and Mayor Bloomberg and the Mayor's Office of Long-Term Planning and Sustainability deserve enormous praise.
We don't have to choose between protecting our kids' health and making a living. We need our leaders to set a new course for America's economy. And it has to start with the will to tackle joblessness and climate change.
Three primary developments over the last few years are likely driving the president's assessment that the economics and politics of climate change have evolved sufficiently to create an opening for national action.
While President Obama's focus on climate change is a welcome, albeit belated, shift, it remains to be seen whether he will match words with action. More and more environmental organizations and activists are prepared to keep the pressure on to ensure he does.
A broad coalition of manufacturers, end users, and developers strongly support initiatives that help industry harness energy-efficiency opportunities. These are pragmatic solutions that help make U.S. industries more competitive globally and help reduce the toll of future natural disasters.
Yes, the rebound effect is real. But it's also small. And what's there is actually positive! Why shouldn't people who can now afford to, due to more efficient energy technologies, be able to improve theirs lives?
"If we leave it to the market, as imperfect as it is, in due course we will transition away from dirty dangerous fossil fuels, and achieve an economy based on locally available clean energy. There will come a realization in which business and government join together to defeat this crisis."
Just as a responsible householder would fix his plumbing, a responsible nation would fix the leaks in its energy economy. Responsible businesses are figuring this out and are saving money with green energy.