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Thursday, 28 March 2013 19:35

The Politics of Climate Change

Global warming has become a highly charged political issue.  The players in the climate change drama cast into different roles.  It seems like you must be a Democrat to be interested in combating global warming, or if you’re a Republican, you cannot be environmentally motivated. 

“The Earth’s climate does not care whether you are a Democrat or a Republican. It doesn’t care whether you’re liberal or conservative. Climate change will affect all Americans no matter what your political beliefs, your religious beliefs, your race, class, creed, et cetera, okay. And in the end, the only way we’re going to deal with this issue is if we come together as a country and have a serious conversation, not about is it real. But what can we do about it,” Anthony Leiserowitz, Director of the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication and a Research Scientist at the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies at Yale University said in an episode titled, “Encore: Ending the Silence on Climate Change” this month on Bill Moyer & Company.

For many years fossil fuel company interests have waged an active disinformation campaign that has borne fruit for them.  They learned well from tobacco war strategy, which was to make people believe the science isn’t clear and that the experts do not agree.  This leads the average person to reserve judgment on climate change.  They aren’t likely to take global warming seriously until it seems that the experts reach a conclusion.  Unfortunately that day will be long coming because these big, powerful companies will continue to spread misinformation.

The climate change disinformation campaign has spread so far that it’s even affected politics.  In last year’s presidential election the question was, “If we focus on protecting the environment, won’t that harm the economy?”  The truth is that there is no inherent contradiction.  The U.S. could, in fact, lead the Green Industrial Revolution.

 What is also interesting is that Republicans weren’t always painted with the not caring about global warming brush.  They actually led the charge on issues such as acid rain.  President George H.W. Bush passed cap and trade legislation on sulfur dioxide.  It was one of the most successful environmental programs in American history, and it was accomplished at a cost far below even best guess estimates at the time.

The answer to the politicization of climate change is that the U.S. needs a groundswell of grassroots movement for environmental change.  We need to get organized and demand change of our politicians.  This country’s political system simply is not conducive to making the changes itself to deal with the global warming crisis we desperately need.  Let’s take partisan gridlock out of the picture.  We can begin by mobilizing and directing the 16 percent of Americans that are the Alarmed, defined in my last post on climate change communication, but are unsure what to do to make a difference in climate change.

Published in carbonfree blog

According to a study by the International Journal of Environmental, Cultural, Economic, and Social Sustainability, the issue of sustainability is increasingly important in the apparel industry.  Environmentally-conscious fashion designers and retailers are moving away from the wasteful trend of “fast fashion” to focus on eco-fashion practices.  

New CarbonFree® Shipping Partner Hearts believes that “conscious consumers create change,” and that sustainable fashion is not only environmentally friendly, but also a means of artistic and cultural expression.  As Hearts launches its sustainable fashion online store, it has chosen to embed a carbon neutral shipping program as part of its environmentally-responsible commitment. 

Through the CarbonFree Shipping Program, Hearts calculates the carbon footprint associated with the inbound and outbound product shipping and makes a corresponding donation to support Carbonfund.org’s projects that reduce carbon emissions, in order to lessen the impact of the carbon emissions created by any outbound shipping process.  Hearts will be providing an immediate positive effect through investment back into reforestation projects, clean energy development and energy efficiency technologies. 

“Hearts understands that environmental and economic sustainability is crucial with any e-commerce platform but especially in the world of fashion where it is our duty and responsibility to offset the carbon emissions when we can,” stated Michelle Petro, president.  She added, “We are thrilled to partner with Carbonfund.org because they too are our environmental change makers.” 

“Our CarbonFree Shipping Program offers a simple and affordable solution for responsible retailers such as Hearts to deliver their products worldwide in an environmentally sustainable way,” adds Eric Carlson, President of Carbonfund.org.  “The CarbonFree Shipping label will assure Hearts’ customers that they’re choosing to make purchases from a company that is committed to its mission of social consciousness.” 

Published in carbonfree blog