EcoBuzz – Macron Charms Congress, Bloomberg Donates $4.5BN


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 THE BUZZ…

Macron brings down the House (and Senate)…

In a speech to Congress that resulted in multiple standing ovations from both parties, French President Emmanuel Macron addressed the need for the US to follow France, Europe, and many other countries in addressing climate change by stating: “Some people think that securing current industries and their jobs is more urgent than transforming our economies to meet the challenge of global change. I hear… but we must find a transition to a low-carbon economy. What is the meaning of our life, really, if we work and live destroying the planet while sacrificing the future of our children?” Well put, Mr. President.

Renewables delivering increased capacity and becoming more efficient…

Renewable energy is the star of positive environmental news this week. Solar and wind were responsible for 98% of new power generation in January and February, and are expected to provide ~70% of new capacity by early 2021. Residential solar power installations across the US grew by 11% in Q1 of 2018, and scientists may have found a way for solar panels to capture and convert unseen light, thus making them more efficient.

The judicial system is giving climate activists hope…

A Minnesota court ruled that climate change activists who broke into an energy facility can argue a ‘necessity defense’ (i.e. they needed to break into the facility in order to stop oil from flowing to address climate change) in support of their actions. In response to whether this will lead to more acts of civil disobedience, one activist stated: “I hope this does mean more civil disobedience because that’s the only thing we have left as ordinary citizens when our political system will not respond to a crisis that is actually threatening the very existence of our grandchildren.” The full trial will be held later this year.

Michael Bloomberg literally fills the President’s shoes…

Michael Bloomberg announced plans to send $4.5 million to fund the US commitments to the Paris Climate Agreement, which Trump has now backed out of. When discussing his actions on ‘Face the Nation,’ Bloomberg stated: “America made a  commitment, and – as an American – if the government’s not going to do it, we all have responsibility. I’m able to do it. So, yes, I’m going to send them a check…”

Pruitt announces controversial transparency rule…

Scott Pruitt unveiled a proposed new rule that will only allow the EPA to consider studies where the underlying data is made publicly available. This is problematic since many scientists feel the rule will effectively block the EPA from relying on long-standing studies on the harmful effects of air pollution, pesticide exposure, and the like because this research often involves confidential medical histories or proprietary information. The proposed rule is subject to a 30-day comment period, and scientists are gearing up to fight.

The UK continues leading by example…

A $1.2 trillion fund in the UK has announced plans to not only pull investment from companies failing to address climate change, but plans to begin ‘naming and shaming’ next month. US funds… Take notes.


EYE ON – SOLAR ROADWAYS

Scott and Julie Brusaw, founders of Solar Roadways, are on a mission to reduce climate change and benefit the earth by replacing all pavement (think: roads, sidewalks, parking lots, etc.) with intelligent solar panels that can create energy, generate their own signage via LED lights, and melt snow. Want to know more? Check out National Geographic’s Chasing Genius feature on them from last July, and follow them on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter to be updated when their panels are released to the public later this year!

Here’s how you can help Solar Roadways achieve their mission:

  • Solar Roadways has made it to the final round of voting on the TV show ‘Innovation Nation’s #MoMadness tournament! Head to SR’s Twitter to cast your vote to help them win the tournament!
  • Donate to SR to help them get their panels to market and become widely available faster!

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