Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Refelections on Earth Day

Some of the trash that was picked up out of the
Manorhaven Preserve.  Photo by Bob Brinkmann
It was a rather busy Earth Day season for me this year.  In Manorhaven, New York, where I live, I organized a community clean up of the Manorhaven preserve.  The Deputy Mayor recently put in the pathways through the preserve and they are very nicely mulched and open to the public.  However, the litter in the preserve was quite bad.

The clean up took place last Saturday and almost all of the Village officials were present as well as several community members and Boy Scouts from Port Washington Troup 7.  We collected dozens of bags of trash, old tires, and sundry other items.  It was a great deal of fun and the preserve looks so much better!

At Hofstra, I organized a panel to discuss the 25th anniversary of the Montreal Protocol.  This was an international agreement that limited the use of ozone depleting chemicals in the upper atmosphere.  It was a very successful agreement that resulted in the cessation of the growth of the ozone hole and its repair.

Me on the Hofstra Campus on Earth Day.
The conversation on the panel focused on why we haven't been able to develop sound international policy on climate change.  The Kyoto Protocol is clearly not a successful agreement for a number of reasons.  Plus, we have had failed climate change legislation at the national level on our nation.  Most of the real action on climate change policy is actually happening at the state and local level.  This is changing a bit now that the EPA was mandated by the US Supreme Court to regulate greenhouse gases.

Yet, we still do not have any real movement on global climate change policy or serious efforts at reductions.  We have 10-20 years to turn the corner on greenhouse gas management or it will be too late to stop the planetary warming that will lead to significant climate shifts.

I hope the next Earth Day will see some progress on the climate issues. 

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