« Doing the Right Thing | Main | Keystone XL: Cynicism on the Potomac »

February 22, 2013

No Time to Cool Off

Unless you happened to be on a monastic retreat last weekend, you probably know that the Sierra Club, 350.org, the Hip Hop Caucus, and other allies held the largest climate-action rally in U.S. history. More than 50,000 people came out to tell President Obama that we want him to lead on climate, starting with a rejection of the Keystone XL pipeline.

It was an incredible day. If you were there with us in Washington, D.C., or any of the simultaneous rallies held around the country, you know what I mean. Thank you for being part of it!

Decades from now, we may well look at 2013 as a turning point in climate action. The groundswell of grassroots activism that we’re seeing will keep gathering momentum until it sweeps our nation into a clean energy future.

You could not see the tens of thousands of people gathered at the National Mall last Sunday without remembering the other great social movements that have found powerful expression there. We've all heard the stirring conclusion of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s extraordinary "I Have a Dream" speech: "Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!" But Dr. King also had words that day for those who agreed that segregation was wrong but worried that change was coming too fast. "This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism," he said. "Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy."

I hear a similar kind of "gradualism" when well-meaning people say that renewable energy is a worthwhile goal, but we're just not ready to start cutting our ties to fossil fuels. For some folks, change is scary no matter how exciting it might be.

Well, we aren't about to cool off, because the clean-energy future is already happening. Here are just three examples I've learned this week alone:

  • The Electric Reliability Council of Texas set a new wind-power generation record on February 9: 9,481 megawatts -- nearly 28 percent of system load. As coal-fired power plants close in Texas, wind power is taking their place. Last year, wind supplied more than 9 percent of the power in Texas, and that number will go up this year.
  • A new report from the Michigan Public Service Commission reviewed the effects of the renewable energy standard that the state adopted in 2008. Thanks to more than $1.78 billion in investments, more than 895 megawatts of new renewable energy projects came online in Michigan through 2012. The cost of new renewable energy there is now lower than new combined-cycle natural gas and new coal.

Across the nation, we're showing we can trade dirty fuels for clean energy. Change is happening, and it's up to us to keep that momentum going if we want to save our climate. We’re only getting started. Stay tuned for more!

TrackBack

TrackBack URL for this entry:
http://www.typepad.com/services/trackback/6a00d83451b96069e2017c370a2a17970b

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference No Time to Cool Off:


User comments or postings reflect the opinions of the responsible contributor only, and do not reflect the viewpoint of the Sierra Club. The Sierra Club does not endorse or guarantee the accuracy of any posting. The Sierra Club accepts no obligation to review every posting, but reserves the right (but not the obligation) to delete postings that may be considered offensive, illegal or inappropriate.

Up to Top

Michael Brune

Join Michael Brune's email list:

   Please leave this field empty

Find us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Rss Feed



Sierra Club Main | Contact Us | Terms and Conditions of Use | Privacy Policy/Your California Privacy Rights | Website Help

Sierra Club® and "Explore, enjoy and protect the planet"® are registered trademarks of the Sierra Club. © 2013 Sierra Club.
The Sierra Club Seal is a registered copyright, service mark, and trademark of the Sierra Club.