January 23, 2016


Testing climate change convictions

No One Can Convince Me v3Last week, I was deeply moved by Piers Sellers’ article “Cancer and Climate Change” in the New York Times.  At age 60, Sellers, a former astronaut, was diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer.  Faced with decisions about how to spend his precious remaining time, he chose to return to his job doing climate research at NASA.  He writes,

“As an astronaut I spacewalked 220 miles above the Earth. Floating alongside the International Space Station, I watched hurricanes cartwheel across oceans, the Amazon snake its way to the sea through a brilliant green carpet of forest, and gigantic nighttime thunderstorms flash and flare for hundreds of miles along the Equator. From this God’s-eye-view, I saw how fragile and infinitely precious the Earth is. I’m hopeful for its future.

And so, I’m going to work tomorrow.”


Celebrating the Paris Agreement on climate change

Bravo la France!On 18 December 2016, a small group of people added a postscript to the Wellington Climate March by gathering in front of the French Embassy to hold a “celebratory demonstration” in honour of the positive outcome from the Paris climate change conference.  Our efforts were graciously received by the French Ambassador.  Below are the comments I prepared for the occasion.

Christiana Figueres, the Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, has described climate change mitigation as the Everest of our generation. With the Paris Agreement, we just reached base camp. The Paris Agreement pulls 195 countries into a common legal framework for reducing emissions, and puts in place a clear, methodical long-term process for reviewing progress and increasing ambition over time. It strengthens channels for financial support, capacity building and technology transfer to help developing countries move more quickly toward low-emission development. It also opens the door to harnessing private-sector action through carbon markets.

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