The Pope’s thoughts echo the refrain of the People’s Climate March - to change everything, we need everyone. Making the connections from local to global is a crucial point of demonstrating power, and 2015 is a big year to just that in the build up to COP21 in Paris.
June has proved to be a great month for the climate, as countries around the world tackle the dangers of fossil fuels head on. Perhaps the action getting the most attention was the announcement earlier this month from G7 leaders that they will phase out fossil fuels by the end of the century. While the details remain unclear, the commitment from the U.S., Canada, Germany, France, the UK, Japan, and Italy is an important sign that the G7 countries are prepared to take responsibility as we move toward the climate negotiations in Paris later this year.
Monday's Supreme Court decision in Michigan v. EPA, siding with industry challengers to the Environmental Protection Agency's Mercury and Air Toxics Standards, is bad news, for all the obvious reasons: the Standards save thousands of lives and prevent a host of illnesses, and protect children from the threat of life-long neurological damage. They are a tremendous bargain for the American public. Now, a five-Justice majority of the Supreme Court has asked EPA to supplement its decision with additional consideration of the costs to industry, acceding to Big Coal's belief in the sanctity of its profits.
Last week, the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) released partial results of a poll they commissioned to gauge public opinion about the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed new ozone standards. The headline of their press release, “More Americans Concerned with Economic Harm of Increasing Federal Regulations Than Environmental Benefit,” certainly caught my attention. This claim runs counter to most other national surveys we have seen recently, which demonstrate strong bipartisan support for environmental and public health protections including the Clean Power Plan’s carbon pollution limits and stronger national ozone standards.