Category: Climate Change

House Passes Climate Action Now Act | HR9

Washington (Gallant Gold Media Hill Report | Opinion | May 4, 2019) –  The Climate Action Now Act (HR9) was passed by the House on Thursday May 2, 2019. Very encouraging event in the midst of a tumultuous week of shock and disappointment related to the William Barr Hearing with the Senate Judiciary Committee.

This is the first climate crisis legislation to pass the Congress “in nearly ten years,” according to Bill sponsor Representative Kathy Castor (D-FL). HR9 will keep the US commitment outlined in the Paris Agreement, to reduce carbon emissions in the United State by 26-28% by 2025. HR9 prevents the Trump Administration from leaving the Paris Agreement. There’s a bipartisan group of 23 governors, nearly 300 cities, and 2,000 businesses who have all pledged a commitment to stay in the Paris Agreement. The US House of Representatives has now been added to this list.

HR9: To direct the President to develop a plan for the United States to meet its nationally determined contribution under the Paris Agreement, and for other purposes.

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HR9 gives the President 120 days to submit the United States Climate Action plan to assigned congressional committees as well as to the American people.

  • House Committees: Foreign Affairs and Energy and Commerce
  • Senate Committees: Foreign Relations, Environment and Public Works, and Energy and Natural Resources

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Despite the Trump Administration announcing it was pulling out of the Paris Agreement on June 1, 2017, the United States went of to reduce carbon emissions by 42 million tons in 2017 the largest reduction by any one country on the globe. Our massive landmass and population can successfully tip the carbon scale. If we can stay committed on a daily basis to do everything in our power to cut carbon – all those very small everyday choices: recycle, reusable bags for all shopping not just grocery shopping, LED lights, tighten faucets after using so no dripping, plant a tree with family and friends once a month, walk more drive less, solar energy – it will become so engrained in our way of life, it won’t feel like extra effort.

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We can do this! Let’s go for a carbon reduction goal of 100 million tons in 2019. Next step for HR9 to become law, is passing the Senate.

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Fallen Trees in Forest | Time To Reforest

Washington (Gallant Gold Media Hill Report | Opinion | March 29, 2019) –  I run along the winding forest trail every evening, headphones blaring, so many things on my mind. I notice the fallen trees. I marvel at how massive the roots are, stunned by the way they seem to creep beneath the surface as deeply as they grow tall.

Today it suddenly dawned on me, that when we see fallen trees in a forest, we should plant new ones in the same vicinity. More than one perhaps. We don’t even have to wait for anyone to direct us, although I guess I’ll inquire at town hall just to be on the safe side. Who would actually notice if a tree-loving, anti-GlobalWarming citizen planted a barrel of trees, though.

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It never really occurred to me before that:

“Reforesting & restoring mangrove forests are a key solution for Climate Action. They act as a barrier against floods & storm surges caused by rising sea levels, erratic rains, land degradation & erosion.” ~UN Environment

Any Climate Action project that’s this simple, easy, economical and fun is going to be a winner. A newly planted tree is like a new friend. I can’t wait to watch it grow. I’ve read that trees can communicate, so this will be another positive benefit. I can conduct tests. Scientific experiment of sorts. For example, if I stop and talk to the tree every day after I run, will it grow taller faster? Will it be stronger than otherwise? It’ll be exciting to find out.

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“Trees exhale for us so that we can inhale them to stay alive. Can we ever forget that? Let us love trees with every breath we take until we perish.” ~Munia Khan

You know something’s a really big deal, when citizens from the state with the Senator who’s the strongest anti-environment advocate in the Legislature, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, are hosting their 20th annual “Reforest the Bluegrass” event tomorrow March 30, 2019, the last Saturday of the month. Good luck and have fun, Kentuckians! You may want to plant ten times as many trees as other states to offset all the coal carbon. Again, thank you!

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“The best time to plant a tree was twenty years ago. The second best time is now.” ~Chinese Proverb

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Think Green | Spring Is Here

Washington (Gallant Gold Media Hill Report | Perspective | March 17, 2019) – Spring is here! GREEN should be at the forefront of our minds especially in light of the Green New Deal.

The Green New Deal, is nothing more than a resolution. A proposal. An urgent call of action to help address the most challenging crisis facing America and every nation around the world. Climate change impacts all of us. The traumatic reality brings our diverse global population together through a shared purpose.

With the arrival of spring, we can move into the GREEN fast lane and start planting trees. As many trees as space allows. Pakistan has planted over a billion trees. The most important step for us to remember here in America is that steady consistency is the best path forward. Let’s be inclusive. Let’s create a vision for solving this crisis that the vast majority will identify with and participate in. No closed doors. No closed minds.

Here’s a quick lesson on how to properly plant a tree:

Have fun! Make it a family or friend event. It’s wonderful to know that around the world, communities are gathering to plant trees. Not only will this reduce carbon, it will provide cleaner oxygen and a more beautiful environment that will add cheer to our lives. Health and beauty are worth fighting hard for.

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Climate Strike | Young Voices That Haunt

Washington (Gallant Gold Media Hill Report | Perspective | March 12, 2019) –  Children are often far more intuitive than adults. They have natural child’s intuition, similar to our pet’s intuition. Children are excellent at reading body language, with an uncanny ability to accurately deduce what kind of day we’re having without us saying a word.

Further, children are observant, typically hyper observant. When walking along a sidewalk, or driving the familiar route to school, a child will notice if the Lopez’s tulips have suddenly blossomed, or if the Wilsons’ painted their front door, whereas we adults may not. Young children are that much closer to the ground and thus silently absorb any number of signals from nature about its well being. Their memories are extremely sharp, recollecting with great accuracy if the water level along the river bank is higher this year than it was several years ago.

Children are idealists. We teach them what’s right. Provide for them a strong moral code to live by. They trust it. They believe that we live by the same code. They expect adults to practice what we preach.

The Climate Strike, led by alarmed children reaching out to adults and demanding that we please “panic” about their Climate Change plight, the same way they are,  intuitively projects that the point of no return will land squarely on their shoulders. Doomsday will arrive when they’re graduating from college, launching into their young adult lives. Do we remember our blissful 20’s? Instead, these terrified Americans will have to suffer the consequences of our indifference, of our blind eye. They’re profound Climate Strike message arrives at the right time and in the tone. An urgent plea for help. If only our president could stand up with the rest of us and do something noble.

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In a New York Times article, the founder of Climate Strike, 16 year old Greta Thunberg of Sweden, had a very poignant message for adults:

“‘Adults keep saying, “We owe it to the young people to give them hope,’ she said. ‘But I don’t want your hope. I don’t want you to be hopeful. I want you to panic. I want you to feel the fear I feel every day. And then I want you to act.’”

No adult with a conscience wants children to endure this type of fear, and yet so many do. In the United States, children and teens already feel terrified with Active Shooter Lock Down Drills in their schools. If our action will help alleviate their young troubled minds, then let’s get to it. This forward path should be a very simple daily roadmap that will become a powerful force for curbing global warming and brightening the future outlook of today’s youth.

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Find a Climate Strike event near you…

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Weekend Climate Change Fight Plan

Washington (Gallant Gold Media Hill Report) –  Every Friday, from this day forward, we need to take a moment while chilling after work, and figure out what efforts we can exert over the weekend to aggressively fight the effects of climate change. This should become our new normal, the same way we tackle our other house chores, yard work, and exercise routines. Climate change isn’t going away, it’s only going to get worse.

Typically we feel a great sense of pride when we finish that weekend project. Painting the den. Working in the garden or mowing the lawn. Completing an oil painting. Expanding the family tree on Ancestry.com. Carving out family time for tackling climate change every single weekend will make so much sense once we start. It’ll feel very similar to buying a pet. One day there’s no pet, and the next day there is. The family has to launch immediately. All hands on deck.

Wednesday February 6, 2019, was a significant day on Capitol Hill. The House Natural Resource Committee held it’s first hearing on climate change in more than a decade. Witnesses pleaded their case in support of immediate and aggressive action by Congress to stem the violent and deadly force of climate change. Even the Republicans were convinced in the mandate that Congress has to take action.

Way out in front leading the conversation, was the Governor of North Carolina. North Carolina knows all to well the importance of taking climate change seriously. In September 2018, it was pummeled by Hurricane Florence so massive, it walloped 6 trillion gallons of rain across major sections of the congested coastline turning miles of I-40 into a river, causing $17 Billion in damage. Thirty-six people were killed. The forceful winds and drenching rains reeked havoc more then 100 miles inland, pounding two of the nations largest military bases located in Fayetteville, NC. There’s nothing like the voice of experience to drive home the point about the importance of taking aggressive action in battling the effect of climate change. North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper is a man on a mission, noting that the state just suffered two “once every 500 years” storms.

“I urge congress… to match the level determination brought to recovery efforts in our fight to reduce the effects of climate change.” ~Gov Roy Cooper (D-NC)

Cimate change is the great equalizer. It effects every single one of us, and it will take every single one of us to curb the brutal impact of an angry Mother Nature.

This weekend’s Climate Change efforts to choose from. These are very simple. It’s okay to choose all:

  • Tighten taps on all the sinks
  • Use cold water when washing clothes
  • replace lightbulbs with LED
  • recycle
  • plant a tree… or two
  • Walk or bike instead of driving
  • Research green energy and create timeline for transitioning

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McConnell Most Responsible for Climate Change

Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell was first elected to the United States Senate in 1984. After serving five terms, he was re-elected to a sixth in 2014. He steadily rose the ranks to various leadership positions:

  • National Republican Senatorial Committee | 1998 – 2000
  • Majority Whip | 2003 – 2005, 108th Congress
  • Minority Leader | 2006 – 2014
  • Majority Leader | 2014 – present

The global temperature in 1984, when McConnell was first elected, was 14.10 Celsius / 57.38 Fahrenheit. During the thirty-four years since then, the global temperature has risen to approximately 14.8 Celsius / 58.64 Fahrenheit, more than half of one full degree. Numerous urgent international global warming warnings have spanned the past three plus decades; McConnell was present for every single one of these. In his leadership capacity, McConnell had the unmistakable, repeated opportunity to rally support and Legislative action to curb the rise in global temperature, but he chose to shun responsibility, bury his head in the sand and aggressively promote the fossil fuel industry. His campaigns have received a stunning $2,151,444 from Oil & Gas industries.

Timeline of Global Warming Warnings During McConnell’s Tenure in the Senate:

  • 1985Villach Conference | Consensus amongst experts, global warming inevitable, calls on governments to “consider international agreements to take action to restrict emissions”
  • 1987Montreal Protocol of the Vienna Convention | “imposes international restrictions on emissions of ozone-destroying gases”
  • 1988Toronto Conference | “calls for strict, specific limits on greenhouse gas emissions; UK Prime Minister Thatcher is first major leader to call for action”
  • 1989Global Climate Coalition established | created by “fossil-fuel and other U.S. industries to tell politicians and the public that climate science is too uncertain to justify action”
  • 1990 First IPCC Report | “world has been warming and future warming is likely”
  • 1992Rio de Janeiro Conference | “produces UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, but U.S. blocks calls for serious action”
  • 1995Second IPCC Report | “detects ‘signature’ of human-caused greenhouse effect warming”
  • 1997Kyoto Protocol | “setting targets for industrialized nations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (rejected by U.S. senate in advance)”
  • 2000Global Climate Coalition dissolves | “as many corporations grapple with threat of warming, but Oil lobby convinces U.S. administration to deny problem”
  • 2001Third IPCC Report | “global warming, unprecedented since the end of the last ice age, is ‘very likely,’ with highly damaging future impacts”
  • 2004 – “First major books, movie, and art work featuring global warming appear”
  • 2005Kyoto Treaty | “signed by major industrial nations except U.S.”
  • 2006“An Inconvenient Truth” documentary | “persuades many but sharpens polarization”
  • 2007Fourth IPCC Report | “warns that serious effects of warming have become evident”
  • 2009Copenhagen Conference | “fails to negotiate binding agreements,” hopes fade of “avoiding dangerous future climate change”
  • 2015Paris Agreement | 196 nations/state parties “pledge to set targets for their own greenhouse gas dust and to report their progress” | McConnell sends letter “urging states not to comply with EPA’s Clean Power Plan”
  • 2017 – McConnell succeeds at urging Trump to pull United States out of Paris Agreement
  • 2018Katowice Climate Change Conference COP24 | “leaders reach deal bolstering Paris Agreement,” but not United States, “U.S. held event promoting fossil fuels

In a stunning rebuke of the 800 million people across the globe who are impacted by global warming, McConnell has consistently corralled his senate colleagues, and now the current president, to maintain staunch opposition to the science behind the global warming warnings. Despite the scientific facts, and the yearly physical proof that climate change is a reality, McConnel persists at denying the research and guidance of experts, and plows forward with legislating in conflict with the damaging impact of climate change reality.

Unfortunately, McConnell’s thirty-four years representing Kentucky in DC have not proven to be a career of public service, but rather of self-service. Hundreds of thousands of lives have been lost, and many millions are at stake.

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