Our nation has abundant clean energy resources, and tapping them will generate jobs, make the air safer to breathe, and tackle climate change – the greatest environmental crisis of our time.
Climate change deniers would have us believe that oil, gas, and coal are the only ways to power a modern, industrialized society. They are wrong, and the proof is all around us.
Getting toxic lead out of gasoline, the oil industry shouted, would cost a dollar a gallon. It turned out to cost just a penny a gallon to protect hundreds of thousands of kids from lead-induced brain damage.
The oceans have been a part of my life for as long as I remember. As a child, I spent hours playing in the surf off Cape Cod. In college, I fished along the rocky coast of Nova Scotia with my school's fishing team.
I have been fighting climate change for two decades, and people often ask me how I remain hopeful in the face of extreme weather and grim forecasts. The answer is simple: I see countless solutions spreading across the nation and across the world. But we need more investment.
A cap on carbon is important because it sets a specific goal for reducing carbon emissions 80% by 2050.
NRDC has helped bring hope spots to more of our shared ocean waters. We helped draft and pass a California law creating a network of underwater parks stretching from the Oregon border to the Mexican border.
The San Gabriel Mountains rise like a rampart at the edge of the city, safeguarding more than 500,000 acres of mature forests, mountain streams, dramatic waterfalls, and towering peaks that reach over 9,000 feet. These untamed places attract bighorn sheep, mountain lions, and other threatened or endangered species.
New York and Connecticut belong to the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative to cut carbon emissions, and New York City has been a leader in energy efficiency.
The single most important thing we can do to protect our communities from climate change is to reduce dangerous carbon pollution.
The signs of climate change are visible across the nation, from the drought-stricken fields of Central California to the flooded streets of Michigan. Extreme weather is turning people's lives upside down and costing communities millions of dollars in damaged infrastructure and added health care costs.
Declaring the San Gabriel Mountains a national monument will make this natural wonder more accessible. It will welcome people from all walks of life and maintain the mountains' wild character at the same time.
Studies show that women are more likely than men to die in natural disasters. Women's voices must be heard.
Los Angeles County is one of the most park-poor urban areas in the nation, and the San Gabriel Valley – stretching from Pasadena to Pomona – is especially starved for open space.
I have visited people whose health has been endangered by tar sands oil. I have watched neighbors struggle to recover from Superstorm Sandy. I have seen solar panels and wind turbines become an increasingly familiar part of the landscape.
The phrase 'mad as a hatter' was coined because hat makers were poisoned by the high levels of mercury used in felt processing; these workers developed a strange, uneven gait as well as strange alterations in their personalities – traits that resembled mental instability.
Healthy forests and wetlands stand sentry against the dangers of climate change, absorbing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and locking it away in plants, root systems and soil.
Climate change is the central environmental ill of our time. We have an obligation to protect our children from the dangers of this widening scourge, and we aren't yet doing enough about it.
Though every nation must do its part to address climate change, developed nations are responsible for the lion's share of carbon pollution in the atmosphere, and they have an obligation to help developing nations transition to a sustainable future.
I do believe that the coal industry sees the cultural shift toward cleaner energy and global warming solutions as a threat to their interests.
Pollution from human activities is changing the Earth's climate. We see the damage that a disrupted climate can do: on our coasts, our farms, forests, mountains, and cities. Those impacts will grow more severe unless we start reducing global warming pollution now.
I have talked to people across the country struggling in the face of an altered climate. New Jersey homeowners are trying to rebuild after Superstorm Sandy. Miami government officials are trying to plan for rising seas and flooded streets. California farmers are trying to make it through the state's worst drought on record.
NEPA's common sense approach to foster discussion and collaboration about major development projects has worked well to protect our national treasures and resources.
Carbon pollution contributes to climate change, which causes temperatures to rise. Hotter temperatures mean more smog in the air, and breathing smog can inflame deep lung tissue. Repeated inflammation over time can permanently scar lung tissue, even in low concentrations.
Once a landscape is industrialized, its wild character is lost for good. You can't recreate untouched tundra, mountain meadows, crystal clear streams, and animals that have never encountered toxic waste.
Whether it is salt farmers in India embracing solar power or wind companies creating tens of thousands of jobs in America, people are providing a vision for the clean energy future.
Opening up Atlantic and Arctic waters to drilling would lock the next generation into burning oil and gas in a way that only makes climate change that much worse, fueling ever rising seas, widening deserts, withering drought, blistering heat, raging storms, wildfires, floods and other hallmarks of climate chaos.
From reinforcing beaches in the Rockaways to installing generators at the Coney Island Houses and sealing holes in the subway system, New York is fortifying our ability to withstand future storm surges.
Putting a tax on carbon could be an effective approach for curbing global warming pollution.
I have long understood that climate change is not only an environmental issue – it is a humanitarian, economic, health, and justice issue as well.
Americans welcome carbon limits because they want to protect their families from harm.
We must not sacrifice one of our remaining untamed places in reckless pursuit of oil. We know we have to leave oil in the ground, or destructive climate change will become unstoppable. If not in the pristine and vulnerable Arctic Ocean, then where?
I was in college when tens of thousands of people marched on Washington for the first Earth Day. Raw sewage floated in rivers and clouds of smog hung over cities. But then something amazing happened. People spoke out. Thousands of students, workers, and ordinary citizens used their voices to say, 'This has to change.'
In the end, the market will decide which is the better performer: dirty coal-fired power or clean wind and solar. Market-based competition. That doesn't sound like communism to me.
After being nearly eradicated from the lower 48 states by the 1960s, bald eagles were re-introduced to the Adirondacks in the 1980s, and I'm proud to report the view from my home indicates they are flourishing in upstate New York.
Business leaders, social justice groups, farmers and ranchers, doctors and nurses and people from all walks of life are concerned about the climate threat.
The Keystone XL pipeline is a threat to our nation. It would increase pollution and intensify climate change for generations to come. We must raise our voices and demand our leaders reject this dirty scheme.
Under pressure from a growing movement of people who want their money out of fossil fuels, universities, pension investors and foundations are looking to exclude coal, oil and gas stocks from their portfolios.
Americans are worried about pollution – oil trains running through their towns, fracking in their neighborhoods, coal dust in their air. They're worried about what the future will look like for their children if carbon pollution continues unchecked.
The U.S. can become carbon neutral in our lifetimes. In the process, we will put millions of Americans to work, make our companies more competitive, and shield our communities from extreme weather. And we will honor our obligation to leave the world a better place for future generations.
The San Gabriel monument expands our natural heritage, but there is more in need of safeguarding – extraordinary places like Utah's Greater Canyonlands.
Though many corporations honor commitments to reduce dangerous pollution, some cut corners and cheat. The marketplace doesn't always have mechanisms to correct bad actors.
Shell Oil's decision to pull the plug on drilling for oil in the Chukchi Sea is a major victory for the Arctic.
Safer chemicals and more energy-efficient technologies can provide cooling without severe climate implications. Shifting to these alternatives could avoid the equivalent of 12 times the current annual carbon pollution of the United States by 2050.
Instead of hazarding our future on the dirty fuels of the past, let's invest in clean power that can drive this country forward. Let's cut energy waste, make our economy the world's most efficient, and give our workers a leg up in the global marketplace.
The fossil fuel industry commands outsize sway over U.S. politics, markets, and democracy. I knew these companies were formidable, but when I served on the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling, I got a close up view of how the industry disregards government safeguards.
For decades, NRDC has created and supported policies that will ultimately end our reliance on fossil fuels.
Countries have made impressive pledges to cut carbon pollution, but we have to ensure these promises become actions.
Over the years, I have seen the power of the oceans to excite, feed, and sustain people. I have also seen them undergo a growing onslaught of attacks, from destructive fishing practices to rising acidification.
Protecting eagles from the threat of extinction is a conservation success story that we must prudently safeguard for future generations to come.
Instead of going to the ends of the Earth – and plumbing the depths of the oceans – to squeeze out every last drop of oil, we need, instead, to do everything we can to reduce the risks of offshore oil and gas production.
Shell has poured billions of dollars into offshore Arctic drilling, but no matter how much it spends, it cannot make the effort anything but a terrifying gamble. And if Shell, the most profitable company on Earth, can't buy its way to safety in Alaska, nobody can.
Nearly every president in the past 100 years has declared national monuments, from Teddy Roosevelt creating the Grand Canyon National Monument to George W. Bush preserving 10 islands and 140,000 square miles of ocean waters in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands.
The San Gabriel Valley, stretching from Pasadena to Pomona, is especially starved for open space. The valley has a rich array of ethnically diverse communities, but it also has some of the highest rates of childhood obesity and diabetes in the state.
As heat rises, so does the number of people trying to cool down homes, schools, hospitals and businesses. This isn't just about comfort; it's a matter of public health.
Tar sands oil is the dirtiest fuel on Earth. Because producing it consumes so much energy, a gallon of tar sands crude generates 17 percent more carbon pollution than conventional crude oil.
The oceans produce up to 70 percent of our oxygen, they shape our climate, and they support an American oceans economy larger than our nation's entire agriculture sector.
Strong limits on carbon pollution will save Americans money, create jobs, improve our health, and help defuse climate change.
When people who love the ocean come together, they can achieve extraordinary things.
Mercury is a potent toxin that interferes with the human nervous system. Reducing this hazard will be a major public health breakthrough.
When climate change supercharges weather patterns, the disadvantaged often suffer first and most.
VW has held a beloved place in American culture. When I graduated from college, many of my friends drove across the country, and most hit the road in a VW van or Bug. Through the years, these cars have represented youth, freedom and quirkiness.
Young people are already leading on climate action. I see it at rallies to reject the Keystone XL dirty tar sands pipeline. I see it in the push to demand justice for communities being run over by fracking operations.
When the government undertakes or approves a major project such as a dam or highway project, it must make sure the project's impacts, environmental and otherwise, are considered. In many cases, NEPA gives the public its only opportunity to be heard about the project's impact on their community.
Green roofs, roadside plantings, porous pavement, and sidewalk gardens have been proven to reduce flooding. They absorb rainwater before it swamps the streets and sewage systems.
At the start of my career, I fought to prevent offshore drilling along the Atlantic Coast.
Americans are already paying the price for record heat waves, dirty air, and an unstable climate. We need to fight these threats with every weapon we have, and the electricity industry has to do its fair share.
Every year, tens of millions of salmon return to the pristine shores of Bristol Bay in Alaska. They linger in the bay's cool, shallow waters before charging up nearby streams to spawn and create another generation of wild salmon.
All Americans have benefited from the dedicated service of Representative Henry Waxman. In every battle and in every moment that mattered most, Rep. Waxman stood up for the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the wild places we cherish.
The people who harvest America's food must be treated with respect and earn a living wage.
We'll always need energy. We need to communicate, too, but we're not stuck with hand gestures and smoke signals. There are better ways to power our future than by digging fossil fuel from the ground and setting it on fire.
Mangroves, salt marshes and sea grass lock away carbon at up to five times the rate of tropical forests.
We can choose food that doesn't lead to illnesses like diabetes and cancer. We can choose food that doesn't contribute to water pollution and climate change. And we can choose food that keeps local economies vibrant and farmers on their land.
Mercury is most commonly recognized as a developmental toxin, threatening to young children and fetuses as they develop their nervous system. Prenatal exposure to even low levels of mercury can cause life-long problems with language skills, fine motor function, and the ability to pay attention.
The more people learn about the proposed Keystone XL tar sands pipeline, the worse it looks.
California's drought affects everyone in the state, from farmers to fishermen, business owners to suburban residents, and everyone has a role to play in using precious water resources as wisely and efficiently as possible.
A stock market index helps investors track the performance of a group of stocks. NRDC worked with FTSE to develop comprehensive and transparent methodologies that screen out companies linked to owning, exploring, or extracting fossil fuels.
I attended the climate talks in Copenhagen in 2009, and back then, national governments waited until days before to submit climate plans, and the U.S. based its pledge on a proposed bill that would fail in the Senate.
Pollution from oil and gas development, toxic runoff, and miles and miles of plastic trash foul the waters and threaten marine life.
Striking a balance between wildlife conservation and wind energy development starts with understanding threats to eagle populations and how our actions, including operating wind farms, are affecting them.
Back when the EPA proposed phasing out ozone-depleting CFCs, the chemical industry howled that refrigerators would fail in America's supermarkets, hospitals and schools.
The U.S. limits mercury, arsenic, and soot from power plants. Yet, astonishingly, there are no national limits on how much carbon pollution these plants can dump into our atmosphere.
When I left school, I never wondered whether my apartment in New York was vulnerable to storm surges, but my three daughters have to consider the realities of extreme weather and how it may destabilize communities around the globe.
Too often, the air conditioners we use to cool down also contribute to climate change – the very force that's fueling extreme heat.
Wind and other clean, renewable energy will help end our reliance on fossil fuels and combat the severe threat that climate change poses to humans and wildlife alike.
Water efficiency, recycling, and other local supplies will help California flourish in a drier future.
The U.S. has a proud history of cleaning up our air through technological innovation. We did it with leaded gas, acid rain and countless other pollutants, and we can do it with carbon pollution, too.
In grownups, mercury can cause memory loss, tremors, vision loss and numbness of the fingers and toes. It can also adversely affect fertility and blood pressure regulation, and a growing body of evidence suggests that exposure to mercury may lead to heart disease.
We look back at the 1990 Clean Air Act amendments, where people screamed and hollered it's going to be too expensive, they couldn't afford it, and it wouldn't work. And it worked. It worked faster than people expected, at much less cost.
The Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument may be distant from our shores, but it will help us understand how healthy marine ecosystems work and how we can revive troubled seas closer to home.
When we go to the store, we bring home more than food – we bring home traces of broader environmental problems. But we can use our shopping carts and dinner plates to help solve some of those problems.
Many environmental battles are won by delaying a destructive project long enough to change the conversation – to allow new economic, political and social dynamics to emerge.
The science tells us that if we fail to reduce global warming pollution, global temperatures will rise to dangerous levels and unleash devastating extreme weather events and accelerate destructive sea level rise.