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NRDC's Nature's Voice

Story ID:11403
Written by:Suzana Margaret Megles (bio, contact, other stories)
Story type:Musings, Essays and Such
Location:New York New York USA
Year:2017
Person:various
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Today I received “Nature’s Voice” – the newsletter put out by the Natural Resource
Defense Council. Usually, I just skim it to see if there is anything which interests me
or my concerns. But now with a president who I feel cares almost nothing about animals
and the environment, I knew I just couldn’t put it aside or skim its articles.

Also the four topics mentioned on the cover page made me realize I that I needed to read
this issue in depth. The first article I tackled dealt with President Trump’s reckless
withdrawal from the Paris climate accord. Thankfully, two other major players stepped up
to uphold their Paris commitments and are even on track to exceed their goals “The
unlikely champions of climate resolve are “China and India which together account for
about one-third of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions.“ NRDC is working in both
countries to help them advance to a clean energy revolution.

In India the rapid growth in both solar and wind energy has led several Indian states to
scrap plans for new coal-fired power plants. They are also cancelling various coal mining
projects. Per Anjali Jaiswal, NRDC’s India program director, they are working on game-
changing solutions, including financing tools to fund climate-saving projects, citywide
air pollution programs, and efforts to advance greener air conditioners and buildings.

China is now leading the world in wind and solar power which is a dramatic shift toward
cleaner energy which NRDC has helped them achieve over the past 20 years. In the next
three years they also plan to invest $360 billion in clean energy. Imagine - they are
dwarfing U.S. investments in this regard. Even though President Trump vowed to put
America first, he’s actually putting America last per Barbara Finamore, NRDC’s Asia
Director. Still, she believe there is hope for American progress. For example she notes
the state of California has a history of partnering directly with China.

Recently on a visit to Beijing, Governor Jerry brown signed agreements to expand
cooperation between China and California re developing clean technologies. NRDC will
be working to make sure these promises bring tangible results. Good for California and
its efforts re environmental concerns.

In closing. I had to agree with the writer’s assessment regarding Trump’s lack of concern
for the environment: “President Trump may have turned his back on the future of our planet,
but the rest of the world is taking its Paris commitment more seriously than ever.”

This newsletter recorded a number of ENVIRONMENTAL VICTORIES:

l. COURT SLAPS PRUITT DOWN. EPA chief Scott Pruitt, had yanked protections against leaks
of methane and other dangerous air pollution from oil and gas operation. NRDC and allies
took Pruitt to court, and less than a month later won a ruling that declared the EPA’s action
illegal, as well as “arbitrary and capricious.”

2. GOVERNORS UNITE ON CLIMATE. Just hours after Pres. Trump abandoned the Paris Accord,
the governors of New York, California, and Washington stepped up to form the U.S. Climate
Alliance, a bipartisan group committed to meeting our nation’s Paris goals. It now includes
13 states plus Puerto Rico, representing nearly a third of all Americans.

3. EPA REVERSES ON MERCURY. In response to an NRDC lawsuit, the EPA has reinstated a
rule that will protect Americans from the more than five tons of mercury pollution discharged
each year from dental offices across the nations. Mercury can disrupt brain development and
function as well as harm the nervous system.

Thank you NRDC et al for victories which help us all.