Saturday, April 4, 2009

Focus The Nation

Can you focus?From the Focus The Nation web site:

On Jan. 31, 2008, Focus the Nation's inaugural Civic Engagment campaign organized the largest teach-in in US history—educating nearly 1 million people on climate change at 1900 institutions—landing significant press in all major outlets including TIME, New York Times, Newsweek, MSNBC,, NPR and major dailies in each state. Youth organizers were rock stars. They created partnerships with academic and business leaders who helped them grab the reins of their future and connect their campus with more than 64 members of Congress and hundreds of state and city officials.

In addition to forging thousands of intergenerational partnerships in congressional districts across the country on the issue of climate change, we heard loud and clear from our key organizers in every state that they were ready to build the clean energy future. The clean energy economy is here. And Focus the Nation can help you join it. This year's Civic Engagement campaign is the Nationwide Town Hall on America's Clean Energy Future, occuring in Congressional Districts across the country on April 18th, 2009.

Get involved. Congress is starting to turn the long-overdue idea of addressing carbon emissions with a first draft of an actual plan using a cap-and-trade system. Educating as many people as possible about the reality of climate change, the role humans play in it, and the damage we are doing are critical to building support for addressing it. And address it we must. As the mechanic in the old oil filter ad said, "you can pay me now or you can pay me later." Paying now would be very affordable according to a thorough McKinsey study:
The macroeconomic costs of this carbon revolution are likely to be manageable, being in the order of 0.6–1.4 percent of global GDP by 2030. To put this figure in perspective, if one were to view this spending as a form of insurance against potential damage due to climate change, it might be relevant to compare it to global spending on insurance, which was 3.3 percent of GDP in 2005. Borrowing could potentially finance many of the costs, thereby effectively limiting the impact on near-term GDP growth. In fact, depending on how new low-carbon infrastructure is financed, the transition to a low-carbon economy may increase annual GDP growth in many countries.
Paying later? Not such a good deal, either in money, or in lives.

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