You know us: we like our ice cream and our polar ice caps frozen. Our ice cream’s doing fine…but let’s just say that we’re getting worried about the ice caps. Yes, any way you look at it, it’s been a big year for the climate—a lot of records were broken, both good and bad. Are you ready for a quick review? Let’s go…
The Good . . .
1. Lots And Lots of Jobs
Jobs in renewable energy have been growing at a record pace—they now outnumber fossil fuel jobs in all but nine states. Solar and wind employment is growing 12 times faster than the rest of the US economy!
2. Ramping Up Capacity
It was reported this year that global renewable energy production capacity reached its highest point ever in 2016, as costs continued to decline.
3. The Future Looks Bright
In March, for the first time ever in the US, wind and solar accounted for 10% of all energy generation. Wanna guess which state produces the most power, in terms of sheer quantity, from renewable energy? Texas.
4. Europe a Shining Example
Meanwhile, over in Europe, Germany broke a record of its own, with renewables generating 35% of all its power in the first half of 2017 (up from 33% last year).
The Bad. . .
5. It’s Still Hot—Really Hot
6. On Thin Ice
Arctic sea ice set a record low in 2017 for the third straight year.
7. A Natural Wonder No More?
The Ugly. . .
8. A Troubling Trend
We were feeling pretty good about things when global carbon emissions stayed flat for three years. But sadly, and alarmingly, they are now rising again. Why? Blame the use of coal in China and increased pollution from developing countries.
9. Stormy Weather
Climate change supercharges hurricanes, and the 2017 hurricane season will long be remembered as one of the most intense in history, setting all kinds of records for storm strength and rainfall. Life on some Caribbean islands may never be the same—even two months after Maria made landfall, Puerto Rico remains devastated.
10. The Current Administration
There’s no doubt about it: the decisions, proposals, and plans we’ve seen from the Trump administration and his climate-denying appointees have done, and will do, serious damage to the environment and the fight against climate change. A record-setting oil-and-gas-lease auction. Abandoning Obama’s Clean Power Plan. A general anti-science stance. The list goes on.
But we know that most of the world’s governments take the threat of climate change seriously. And we know that citizens and activists everywhere are standing together to demand change. We know that the world remains united (with one exception) behind the Paris Climate agreement.
Join the climate movement and let’s make sure that 2018 is a breakthrough year for all the right reasons. You can make a difference. We all can. Let’s start today.