This is our time; now is our moment. What will you do?
Thirty years from now, the most important thing about this moment in history will be whether or not we did something meaningful to confront climate change. The reason is simple: We are drastically altering the very life support system upon which we depend. We have only a very narrow window of opportunity to avert catastrophe. The time for action is now; each year we delay the required emission cuts become steeper.
Climate change is already increasing the frequency of
heat waves, drought, fires,
Photo: US Forest Service
Time is Running Out
By 2011 the world had already emitted 531 gigatons of carbon (GtC). This is about two-thirds of the total we can emit for a 66% chance of staying within the 3.5 Fahrenheit heat limit, according to the most recent (2013) IPCC assessment. This leaves only another 270 GtC we can emit before we exceed our total “carbon budget” of 800 GtC (this includes all GHG emissions). If global carbon emissions continue to grow at 2% each year, as they have over the last decade, we will blow through the 800 GtC carbon budget by 2032 – in just eighteen years.
Climate stabilization under the international consensus 3.6°F threshold is the ultimate and necessary goal.
Meeting the Challenge
A price on carbon is the major US policy needed to drive a broad reduction of emissions. Achieving this carbon price quickly will require a multi-faceted campaign. The effort is conceived with similar resources, scale, and time frame as a presidential race, to persuade and activate a large segment of citizens within two or three years.
The question of where such a transition can take root is a difficult one. Fortunately, California has been unwavering in its commitment to address climate change; it has the resources and talent to help cut through the cultural inertia and powerful forces that seek to keep us addicted to fossil fuels and to engage the public in the type of campaign required to transform our fossil energy-intensive system.
This is our call to greatness. Join us.
Climate change is a humanitarian crisis and a global security issue.