In a very different mode of action from that of Obama featured in the previous post, young people in white boiler suits and masks in the Rhineland of Germany and young people paddling canoes in Seattle Harbour on the west coast of the USA have taken action against the large-scale production of fossil fuels, respectively coal and petroleum. Bill McKibben, the founder of the 305.org movement to campaign against the now 400+ ppm levels of CO2 in the global atmosphere writes in this article about two iconic photos of these protests that, in a future when fossil fuels are replaced by cleaner forms of energy, may have a similar significance to the iconic photo of a lone protester standing in front of tanks in Tienanmen Square. Community action can take many forms and iconic images of one-off events can have a greater impact than the events themselves in wakening up the passengers of Spaceship Earth to the reality of how their only planetary home is being dangerously changed.
President Obama is unveiling a new set of power plant regulations hailed by The New York Times as “the strongest action ever taken in the United States to combat climate change.” The plan could shutter hundreds of coal-fired power plants, stop construction of new coal plants and fuel a shift toward wind and solar power by providing incentives for renewable energy. The final rules are reportedly stronger than earlier proposals, requiring existing power plants to cut emissions 32 percent from 2005 levels by 2030. The plan faces opposition from Republican lawmakers and coal companies, who have vowed to sue