Green Dreams: Environment Bloggers Weigh in on Historic Election

Tim Hurst of Ecopoliticology blog posts an entertaining video titled ‘5 Green Obama Dreams’. The video mentions his posts on high resolution energy resource maps and the solar powered lawnmower.

On the DotEarth blog, Andrew Revkin muses on the significance of Obama's election, writing

President-elect Barack Obama on Jan. 20 will become the most important leader of a species that has exploded in just six generations from a total population of 1 billion (around 1830) to a point today when teenagers alone number 1 billion, a species that is on a path toward more or less 9 billion people by mid-century. In numbers, think roughly of adding two Chinas on top of the one that exists today. Expectations that he will exert planet-scale leadership are high, as indicated in this letter from Nelson Mandela to the next president.

He is compiling a list of 10 best proposals to send to Obama's transition team. The proposals will be ranked by readers of his blog.

On the China Dialogue blog, reprints a 2007 Obama speech, reflecting on what Obama's presidency would mean for the environment.

What will a Barack Obama presidency mean for the global environment?

In a policy address delivered in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, in October 2007 – shortly after George W Bush hosted a Washington conference on energy security and climate change — Obama set out his plan. It included a strong focus on energy efficiency and the use of a “cap-and-trade” system. Obama also emphasised his commitment to investing in clean technology, saying that new technology from the United States can help countries like China to fight climate change.

“[W]e will share our technology and our innovations with all the nations of the world,” Obama said. “If we can build a clean coal plant in America, China should be able to as well.”

La Marguerite suggests channeling the magic of community organizing seen in the Obama campaign into tackling climate change.

Sarah Palin should not have mocked Barack Obama for being a community organizer. If anything, tonight’s results proved her wrong. Our new President has given new meaning, and strength to the concept of community organizing. And he has shown us what citizens can do, when given the means to organize towards a cause, that’s greater than themselves.

Tonight I am thinking of the thousands of Obama offices, volunteer networks, and fundraising organizations, along with the sophisticated Internet machine, and the organizing methodology, that went into getting Barack Obama elected. As the signs are coming down, the thank you emails go out, and the temporary offices go back to their original owners, I wonder, is that it? Will we go back to business as usual, each in our homes, going about our private lives?

Or will we use the skills learned during the Obama campaign to mount a national community effort, this time to address the threat of climate change? The last time I checked, we had less than ten years to get our act together. Citizens have a crucial role to play on the conservation end. As someone who has tried for the last year and a half, to curtail my consumerist and energy appetites, I can testify on the difficulty of accomplishing such changes at the individual level. Instead, we need to summon the power of community to help each other.

Omar Basawad of the Safari Notes blog says ‘Congratulations America!’

“If there is anyone out there who still doubts that America is a place where all things are possible, who still wonders if the dream of our founders is alive in our time, who still questions the power of our democracy, tonight is your answer.” So, said the next President of the US.

I, we, have no doubt any more about that. And I do, for the first time truly envy Americans for how you can rise and at what you can do. And how lucky and blessed you are, to have such a democratic system and such ideals! Truly, you are a great people. And that is the reason you will continue leading the World militarily, economically and technologically; and you have just proven too, that you are above the rest of the World, morally. And now you have sent such a great statement across the globe, which will cause ripples and shock waves for a long time to come.

Very hopefully, the ripples and shock waves – will be so powerful so as to bring too, the same kind of change that will, one day, allow our children too – to have such a kind of democracy working in our parts of the World; a democracy that is truly: true, enlightened and ideal.

Tracy Stokes in South Africa had tears of joy on hearing the news that Barack Obama is the next president of USA. She wrote

I sprang out of bed this morning (very out of character for me) and rushed to the living room, grabbed the remote and had that TV on before you could say “election results”. Obama is the new president of the United States, Bush is on the way out. So here I am, miles and miles away from where it’s all happening, at the southern tip of Africa, a South African of European descent, and it moved me to tears. Why? Because from next January, the most powerful man in the world will no longer be a warmonger, bigot, and dare I say it, village idiot, but an intelligent, compassionate man who has brought to Americans the opportunity to join the rest of the world in working towards peace, upholding of human rights, and fighting climate change. So congratulations to the American people in choosing the right man for the job.

On the blog, Phil considers the signifance of Obama's win particularly regarding climate change.

It's up to us to make sure Senator Obama follows through with the vision of a world we desperately want that is now a little bit more within reach. Sending him to Poland is a needed first step towards rebuilding the world economy and solving climate change, tasks which will no doubt take years, if not decades, to accomplish.
At this historic turning point, it's up to us to shed the yoke of history and move forward by joining with our new leaders and pushing for a bold new solution to these dual crises. The world is counting on us.

On the GreenPeace Making Waves blog, amid thanks, a reminder of the promises Barack Obama made regarding the environment is stated.

Thank you, Barack Obama, for giving all of us new hope for a changed America.
We're non-partisan here at Greenpeace. We don't have any permanent allies or enemies. We support policies, not politicians. We endorse deeds, not words. So even while a lot of us (in our personal capacity as human beings and not Greenpeace employees) are jumping up and down this morning with glee, we want to take a moment to remind you of the promises you made in your election campaign.

It's delivering on these promises, or bettering them, that will be the true mark of your leadership. …

On ‘Its Getting Hot in Here’ blog, Teryn Norris writes of reinventing America.

Few moments in history feel this monumental. It’s the feeling of renewed hope and immense possibility.
Barack Obama has once again tapped America’s power of invention. It’s the same power that led us to invent the first modern democracy. To invent the systems and technologies that continue to drive human progress. To constantly reinvent ourselves in the face of insurmountable hardship and division.
Invention is our greatest power — the very heart of the American spirit. It’s what can renew our promise once again and make this century the next American century.

Teryn concludes the post with:

Obama has rekindled the American spirit. Now he must lead this nation to fully reinvent itself and the world — to lead us in what will be the greatest American project.

Let’s get started.

From South Africa, The Urban sprout blog offers kudos to the the American public for electing Barack Obama.

…how often do we ask ourselves what difference the leaders of New Zealand, Denmark, Germany or Iceland, for instance, will make to us all? But you have to give credit where credit is due and kudos to the American public for electing Barack Obama!

But what can we expect from Obama’s environmental direction, and can he be held accountable to his campaign promises?

We end this post with a quote from the Urban sprout blog.

Obama’s administration has 4 years to turn these visionary promises into something tangible, and that's the real challenge – but right now, there's plenty to be optimistic about.

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