Looking to a Brighter Clean Energy Future in 2013

2012 was a trying year for climate activists. Little progress on has been made on climate change mitigation domestically or internationally. President Obama passed regulation regarding fuel efficiency standards, but has otherwise failed to seriously address the problem of our warming planet.

All of this inaction comes on the heels of some of the most compelling evidence in support of climate change to date. November 2012 is the 333rd straight month of warmer than average global temperatures. Arctic sea ice reached its lowest recorded level, with an area the size of Texas subtracted from 2007’s previous low. The area destroyed by wildfires is expected to double by 2050. And 2012 is nearly assured to be the hottest year on record, according to NOAA. Climate change deniers are finding it harder to defend their stance, but there continues to be a lack of initiative from important governing bodies.

Congress is not advancing pollution regulation or clean energy initiatives that will help steer our economy away from dirty and costly fossil fuels. These companies receive generous government subsidies and subsequently produce incredible amounts of toxic and planet-warming byproducts that deteriorate the health and safety of our country. International climate negotiations have stalled too, as seen at the recent COP 18 event that produced few substantive results. President Obama has promised to make climate change a priority in his next four years, but given his previous record, it will be hard to take his word until he delivers on those promises.

There is no one solution we can employ in 2013 that will end the climate crisis as we know it. The amount of CO2 in the atmosphere is inching closer to 400 parts per million (ppm) and it will take decades for those concentrations to reach safe levels. But we have to start somewhere and clean energy would be an effective place to begin. We have proven technology that enables to harness energy from the sun, wind and geothermal heat. There are electric cars that are efficient, proven vehicles that are available at reasonable prices. Taking action on these two issues would be a huge step towards reducing our emissions, which is why we need to embrace proposals like Clean Energy Victory Bonds.

Clean Energy Victory Bonds are proposed US Treasury Bonds that citizens could buy to support clean energy initiatives across the country. It would extend programs like the PTC and help secure the long-term market for wind energy. It would provide incentives for solar, geothermal and second generation biomass companies to produce clean, affordable energy. It would also provide funding for electric vehicle charging stations and electric car vouchers. These progressive policies will help shape the renewable energy market in the United States by providing jobs, revenue and a cleaner environment for everyone to live in. Investing in Clean Energy Victory Bonds would be an important investment for our country; by creating cleaner electricity with less waste, we can provide jobs and income for middle class families that will help rejuvenate our economy and build a sustainable future.

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