09/06/2013 04:09 pm ET Updated Nov 06, 2013

Recess Wrap Up

As I looked back at the news we've shared with you this August on the NRDC Action Fund facebook page, I noticed myself shaking my head. For every bit of alarming climate change news - fires, melting sea ice, hurricanes, and even a starved-dead polar bear - there seemed to be another bit of nonsense from a congressional climate denier home for the summer recess.

It's easy to feel discouraged in the face of such willful ignorance (and likely a dose of shameful pandering to fossil fuel donors). However, mixed with the distressing climate news and the disappointing politicians there were many reasons for hope. I will highlight two of the biggest reasons:

1.President Obama's Climate Action Plan. We posted news that many in Washington have sensed a "sea change" from the President on climate change since the start of his second term. Certainly his big speech on climate change and the unveiling of his Climate Action Plan were huge signals of this change. And, while some processes like writing and implementing regulations for coal-fired power plants may take some time, we are already seeing results. For example, in July the U.S. Export-Import Bank refused to fund a coal-fired power plant abroad.

2.The Economics of Dirty and Clean. The economics of dirty energy and clean energy seem to be shifting every day. This month we've seen Goldman Sachs predict that "The window for thermal coal investment is closing" as well as news that electric vehicles will soon be cost competitive with gasoline-powered cars and regular reports that the cost of wind and solar energy is coming down.

The good news is that we don't need the Flat-Earthers in Congress to move forward when we have these winds at our back. We sure hope we can convince them to do the right thing for our country, our planet and our future generations, -- and we could achieve better results with their cooperation -- but the President's Climate Action Plan doesn't require congressional approval and as clean energy becomes more affordable, consumers will choose it no matter what their members of Congress believe.

With August recess over, you can be sure we'll continue to share the news -- good and bad -- now that Congress is back in session.