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William S. Becker
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William Becker is the Executive Director of the Presidential Climate Action Project (PCAP) and a Senior Associate at Natural Capitalism Solutions in Colorado. PCAP was launched in 2007 to develop policy recommendations for presidential candidates and incumbents. It has issued 5 presidential "action plans" so far.

Bill is a former senior official at the U.S. Department of Energy. He is a national expert and frequent speaker on sustainable community development. Among other roles, Bill is a member of the international Climate Change Task Force created and chaired by former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev.

Throughout his career, Bill has worked with disaster-affected communities to engage in "sustainable recovery" -- rebuilding with green designs and technologies. He created or participated in expert teams deployed to New Orleans after Katrina and Thailand after the tsunami.

A former journalist who began his career as an Army war correspondent in South Vietnam, Bill is the author of “The 100 Day Action Plan to Save the Planet” published by St. Martin’s Griffin in New York. His career in sustainable energy began in the 1970s when he proposed and helped implement a pioneering project in which a rural Wisconsin village relocated from a floodplain and built the nation's first solar village. Today, that project is recognized as a pioneer in climate mitigation and adaptation.

Entries by William S. Becker

Energy Freedom on the Ballot

(16) Comments | Posted May 15, 2016 | 3:17 PM


When it comes to issues the American people agree on, few have as much support as solar and wind power. Three of every four of us adults, when asked about "solving the nation's energy problems," prefer solar and wind energy over...

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Campaign Forecast: Hot & Cold on Climate Change

(0) Comments | Posted May 11, 2016 | 6:29 PM


If it turns out as it appears that Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are the major parties' candidates for the presidency this year, one of their clear-cut differences will be their positions on global climate change. Secretary Clinton is a climate hawk; Mr....

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Energy Freedom on the Ballot

(0) Comments | Posted May 11, 2016 | 4:04 PM


It is a safe bet that the drama of the 2016 presidential election will become even more intense between now and November. As a result, other important elections may get less attention than they deserve.

I'm referring to races for governorships and...

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Climate Change: Still a War of Words

(0) Comments | Posted April 20, 2016 | 1:50 PM


In Washington D.C. last week, a former Army general told a Senate committee that the U.S. military is being distracted and soldiers are being put at risk because the Department of Defense (DoD) has become "an unwitting agent for propagandizing the...

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Carbon Sinks: The Next Big Thing (Part 4)

(1) Comments | Posted March 31, 2016 | 1:44 PM

This is the last in a series of posts about using ecosystems to store carbon, and why this should be part of America's strategy for combatting global climate change.

Nature can be humanity's best friend or its worst enemy. Millions of Americans were reminded of that last year when they...

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The End of Climate Denial?

(0) Comments | Posted March 27, 2016 | 3:52 PM

Something remarkable happened last week in Washington D.C. The major news networks missed it. Two prominent Republicans and two prominent Democrats participated in a panel discussion and nobody got hurt. No one threw a punch or hurled an insult. Everyone was surprisingly civil.

The discussion was hosted by...

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Carbon Sinks: The Next Big Thing (Part 3)

(1) Comments | Posted March 26, 2016 | 1:14 PM

This is the 3rd in a four-part post on using ecosystems to store carbon. Part 1 was about the need to bring the Earth's carbon cycle back into balance. Part 2 discussed how restoring carbon sinks is a necessary part of America's climate action plan. In this part, I describe...

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Carbon Sinks: The Next Big Thing (Part 2)

(0) Comments | Posted March 22, 2016 | 2:42 PM

This is the second in a four-part post on using ecosystems to store carbon. In Part 1, I wrote that the most fundamental task of climate action is to restore the Earth's carbon balance. I described how carbon is captured and stored by natural carbon sinks.

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Carbon Sinks Are The Next Big Thing (Part 1)

(0) Comments | Posted March 21, 2016 | 9:08 PM

This is the first in a four-part series about restoring the soils, forests, wetlands and grasslands that take carbon out of the atmosphere.

As Earth Day approaches this year, it's a good time to begin paying attention to parts of the Earth many people don't think about. They are...

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This Year's Biggest Under-Reported Story

(13) Comments | Posted March 10, 2016 | 12:30 PM


If you watch the evening news on one of the major television networks these days, you've undoubtedly noticed that only one topic frequently beats the presidential election campaign for the lead story. It's the weather.

That's saying a lot in one of...

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A Simple Test of Fitness for Public Office

(93) Comments | Posted January 8, 2016 | 11:06 AM

With presidential primaries and caucuses fast approaching, Republican voters should be asking themselves a few provocative questions about their front-runners and their Party.

Are conservatives in the United States so bereft of ideas that their only response to global climate change is to pretend it doesn't exist?


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How Can We Pay for the New Energy Economy?

(4) Comments | Posted December 19, 2015 | 12:25 PM

This is Part 2 in a two-part post. Part 1 is at this link.

Many a great idea has been deflated by a simple question: "That's nice, but who's going to pay for it?" That question hovered like a cloud over the international climate conference in Paris a...

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We Need an Intervention for Our Carbon Addiction

(20) Comments | Posted December 18, 2015 | 5:14 PM

There is an old saying for people who are stuck in an unhealthy situation: If you want to get out of a hole, stop digging. There is a corollary for a world addicted to fossil fuels: If you want to cure the addiction, stop subsidizing the drug.

It was President...

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The Climate Deal: A Boon or Bust?

(1) Comments | Posted December 16, 2015 | 12:00 PM

It was inevitable that the chattering classes would find a feast of disagreement about the importance of the climate agreement achieved last weekend in Paris. Was it a breakthrough of historic importance on the existential issue of our age? Or was it a collective whimper from the global community?

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The World Has Spoken in Paris

(12) Comments | Posted December 12, 2015 | 2:21 PM


PARIS - The world made history at approximately 7:25 p.m. Paris time on Saturday when 195 nations did something that had never been done before. They all agreed on something.

The "something" is really something: a global commitment to confront global...

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In Paris, Trust But Verify

(1) Comments | Posted December 10, 2015 | 9:37 AM


Over the last 45 years, the international community has signed hundreds of environmental agreements. They range from preserving biodiversity to fixing the ozone hole, and from protecting oceans to sustaining freshwater resources.

Unfortunately, nations have a poor record of carrying out their...

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Burning the Midnight Oil in Paris

(0) Comments | Posted December 7, 2015 | 5:32 AM

PARIS - Every so often as the crowded Paris Metro approaches a station, a female voice comes over the intercom advising us to "watch the gap." She means the gap between the train and the platform as we exit. But this week in particular, the gap most worth watching is...

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The Climax of Obama's Climate Legacy

(9) Comments | Posted November 28, 2015 | 12:02 PM


As President Obama flies to Paris this weekend for the opening of the latest international negotiation on climate change, diplomats on both sides of the Atlantic appear confused about what his position will be. Will he champion legally binding commitments by all nations...

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Global Warming at the Thanksgiving Table

(0) Comments | Posted November 24, 2015 | 12:58 PM

Let's be honest. Thanksgiving is that American tradition where relatives get together whether they like each other or not. There usually is one turkey on the table and (I point this out with love) some others sitting around it. Sometimes the conversations can get tense.

It's generally a good...

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War Across the Generations

(15) Comments | Posted November 11, 2015 | 12:06 PM


It is Veterans Day today, and that means different things to different people. For some, it's simply a day off work or school. Others, bless them, see it as a day to give thanks to those Americans, young and old, alive and dead,...

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