Letters

Letters 8-18-2014

The Climate Clarified

Climate change isn’t an easy subject. A class I’m taking compared it to medicine in a way that was helpful for me: Climate scientists are like planetary physicians. Our understanding of medicine is incomplete, but what we know is useful...

Beware Non-Locally Grown

The article “Farm Fresh?” couldn’t be any more true than exactly stated. As an avid shopper at the local farm markets I want to know “exactly” what I am buying, from GMO free to organic or not organic, sprayed or not sprayed and with what...

Media Bias Must End

I wish to thank Joel Weberman for his letter “Seeking Balanced Israel Coverage.” The pro-Palestinian bias includes TV news coverage...

Proud of My President

The world is a mess. According to many conservative voices, it would not be in such a mess if Obama was not the president. I am finally understanding that the problem with our president is that he is too thoughtful, too rational, too realistic, too inclined to see things differently and change his mind, too compassionate to be the leader of a free world...

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October 24: Your day to speak out about climate change

Hans Voss - October 19th, 2009
October 24: Your Day to
Speak Out on Climate Change

By Hans Voss 10/19/09

How would you like to be part of what looks to be the biggest day of worldwide environmental action in history?
It happens Saturday, October 24 and Traverse City is an important part of this global event called the International Day of Climate Action. Locally, it starts at 1 p.m. at the Open Space and later moves to the Traverse City Opera House. We’ll gather for a huge group photo that will be beamed to Times Square and across the world.
It’s all meant to grab the attention of world leaders as they prepare to go to Copenhagen, Denmark in December to negotiate a new international climate treaty. And the climate day action seems to be working; at last check, there were 2,376 events planned in more than 153 countries for Saturday.
It should be a “no-brainer” to get people involved, right?
Not really. Most people understand that climate change is real and dangerous, but it isn’t at the top of many priority lists. We’ve got plenty to worry about already: the economic reality of holding on to our jobs and paying the bills, the daily responsibilities of making dinner, cleaning the house, and helping kids with homework. And most of us are already squeezing in time to support church activities, volunteer at the school, or participate in community efforts.
But if there was ever a moment to get involved in the climate change debate, this is it. Political forces around the world are converging for action now, and some of them are real game changers.
In December, President Obama and other world leaders will meet in Copenhagen to set international targets and strategies. What’s different now from the failed negotiations of Kyoto (which the U.S. formally pulled out of in 2001) is that America is finally poised to lead.
Earlier this year the U.S. House of Representatives took an important step by passing a domestic climate bill, there’s strong leadership in the Senate, and Obama has spoken boldly about the urgency of the moment and pledged to take a leadership role on the international stage.
So, why should a bunch of people in northwest Michigan get involved?
As it turns out, curbing climate changes means accelerating the nascent clean-energy economy—and that is also the best way to restart Michigan’s stalled manufacturing economy and grow tens of thousands of permanent, well-paying jobs here.
This is no pie-in-the-sky stuff. Michigan already has it going on, as far as green manufacturing. Last month, for example, a state agency last month counted more than 8,000 construction workers now building or expanding clean-energy manufacturing facilities in the state.
In August, Michigan snagged most of the federal government’s battery technology development grants--$1.35 billion!—and closed a deal to convert an idled auto plant in Wixom into a solar panel and battery factory employing 4,000 workers.
Back in May, another state study found that Michigan’s green sector now employs more than 100,000 people and that the only industrial sector in the state showing growth was its green energy sector, including green energy manufacturing.
And the Granholm administration will tell you that they are just getting started on updating the state’s economy for the 21st century. They rightly believe that Michigan can be a world leader in clean-energy manufacturing.
And while pushing clean energy creates real economic opportunity, it also helps to avoid the consequences of climate change. Michigan’s average temperature has already increased by 1.5?F since the middle of the last century and will increase another 5?F degrees by 2060 if nothing is done about carbon emissions. That would make Michigan feel a lot like Arkansas in the summer.
That may sound nice on the kind frosty mornings we’ve had lately, but University of Michigan researchers say such temperatures could drop Great Lakes water levels by eight feet by 2100. Just think of the huge economic costs to Great Lakes boating, fishing, and shipping, and the serious environmental consequences of disappearing shoreline wetlands and shrinking Great Lakes food chains.
In the coming months our two U.S. senators, Carl Levin and Debbie Stabenow, both of whom are solid environmental leaders, will vote on the federal climate bill; they’ll vote on the climate treaty that comes out of Copenhagen, too. No matter how supportive Levin and Stabenow are, they need to hear from us if they are going to stand up to the resistance from the oil and coal lobbies.
.Your voice really can make a difference. And if those of us in Northern Michigan join together, our collective voice can have an even bigger effect.
Will being a climate change advocate add another piece to your already busy life? Yeah, but not much.
All you need to do is come on out to the Traverse City Open Space at 1 p.m. on October 24 and take a few minutes to write a letter, send an email, or make a phone call. Spend a couple hours on this crucial cause. The next generations will thank you.
For a lot more information see www.tc350.org.

Hans Voss is the executive director of the Michigan Land Use Institute, a Traverse City-based advocacy organization advancing programs on the environment, community planning, and agriculture designed to support Michigan’s economic prosperity. More information at www.mlui.org .

--
This message has been scanned for viruses and
dangerous content by MailScanner, and is
believed to be clean.October 24: Your Day to
Speak Out on Climate Change

By Hans Voss

How would you like to be part of what looks to be the biggest day of worldwide environmental action in history?
It happens Saturday, October 24 and Traverse City is an important part of this global event called the International Day of Climate Action. Locally, it starts at 1 p.m. at the Open Space and later moves to the Traverse City Opera House. We’ll gather for a huge group photo that will be beamed to Times Square and across the world.
It’s all meant to grab the attention of world leaders as they prepare to go to Copenhagen, Denmark in December to negotiate a new international climate treaty. And the climate day action seems to be working; at last check, there were 2,376 events planned in more than 153 countries for Saturday.
It should be a “no-brainer” to get people involved, right?
Not really. Most people understand that climate change is real and dangerous, but it isn’t at the top of many priority lists. We’ve got plenty to worry about already: the economic reality of holding on to our jobs and paying the bills, the daily responsibilities of making dinner, cleaning the house, and helping kids with homework. And most of us are already squeezing in time to support church activities, volunteer at the school, or participate in community efforts.
But if there was ever a moment to get involved in the climate change debate, this is it. Political forces around the world are converging for action now, and some of them are real game changers.
In December, President Obama and other world leaders will meet in Copenhagen to set international targets and strategies. What’s different now from the failed negotiations of Kyoto (which the U.S. formally pulled out of in 2001) is that America is finally poised to lead.
Earlier this year the U.S. House of Representatives took an important step by passing a domestic climate bill, there’s strong leadership in the Senate, and Obama has spoken boldly about the urgency of the moment and pledged to take a leadership role on the international stage.
So, why should a bunch of people in northwest Michigan get involved?
As it turns out, curbing climate changes means accelerating the nascent clean-energy economy—and that is also the best way to restart Michigan’s stalled manufacturing economy and grow tens of thousands of permanent, well-paying jobs here.
This is no pie-in-the-sky stuff. Michigan already has it going on, as far as green manufacturing. Last month, for example, a state agency last month counted more than 8,000 construction workers now building or expanding clean-energy manufacturing facilities in the state.
In August, Michigan snagged most of the federal government’s battery technology development grants--$1.35 billion!—and closed a deal to convert an idled auto plant in Wixom into a solar panel and battery factory employing 4,000 workers.
Back in May, another state study found that Michigan’s green sector now employs more than 100,000 people and that the only industrial sector in the state showing growth was its green energy sector, including green energy manufacturing.
And the Granholm administration will tell you that they are just getting started on updating the state’s economy for the 21st century. They rightly believe that Michigan can be a world leader in clean-energy manufacturing.
And while pushing clean energy creates real economic opportunity, it also helps to avoid the consequences of climate change. Michigan’s average temperature has already increased by 1.5?F since the middle of the last century and will increase another 5?F degrees by 2060 if nothing is done about carbon emissions. That would make Michigan feel a lot like Arkansas in the summer.
That may sound nice on the kind frosty mornings we’ve had lately, but University of Michigan researchers say such temperatures could drop Great Lakes water levels by eight feet by 2100. Just think of the huge economic costs to Great Lakes boating, fishing, and shipping, and the serious environmental consequences of disappearing shoreline wetlands and shrinking Great Lakes food chains.
In the coming months our two U.S. senators, Carl Levin and Debbie Stabenow, both of whom are solid environmental leaders, will vote on the federal climate bill; they’ll vote on the climate treaty that comes out of Copenhagen, too. No matter how supportive Levin and Stabenow are, they need to hear from us if they are going to stand up to the resistance from the oil and coal lobbies.
.Your voice really can make a difference. And if those of us in Northern Michigan join together, our collective voice can have an even bigger effect.
Will being a climate change advocate add another piece to your already busy life? Yeah, but not much.
All you need to do is come on out to the Traverse City Open Space at 1 p.m. on October 24 and take a few minutes to write a letter, send an email, or make a phone call. Spend a couple hours on this crucial cause. The next generations will thank you.
For a lot more information see www.tc350.org.

Hans Voss is the executive director of the Michigan Land Use Institute, a Traverse City-based advocacy organization advancing programs on the environment, community planning, and agriculture designed to support Michigan’s economic prosperity. More information at www.mlui.org .

 
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