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Abigail Dillen's blog

Notre Dame Cathedral

Something profound happened in Paris last week and we have to celebrate it. One hundred and ninety-five nations came together and made a pact to act against climate change. They agreed to hold global temperature rise to well below 2 degrees Celsius, with a target of no more than 1.5 degrees. They agreed to revisit this year's commitments to cut greenhouse gas emissions in 2020, when it will be even cheaper and easier to get off of fossil fuels. The countries that got rich burning fossil fuels agreed to help fund climate solutions for countries that didn't.

As the Climate Summit in Paris approaches, there is reason for hope that the world is finally getting serious about cutting its carbon emissions.

What accounts for President Obama’s reportedly high spirits on his recent visit to the Arctic, ground-zero for climate change? As the president is acutely aware, there is nothing good about melting ice caps and thawing permafrost. Maybe it was just the great outdoors. Or maybe he is feeling hopeful that we can still save the planet.

Rachel Carson Bob Hines

Wherever International Women's Day is observed, there are people celebrating the life and legacy of Rachel Carson, and I am one of them. So much that is good about the environmental movement begins with her. But even the wildly original Rachel Carson owed a debt to courageous women of imagination before her, including author Mary Shelley.

Transmission lines.

Picture a rambling old house that began life as a cottage in the 1920s and kept growing with a series of ramshackle additions over the following decades. Every time you fix something, another thing goes wrong. If it’s not the leaky roof, it’s the burst pipes, or the faulty wiring. In other words, it’s a money pit. Either you lay a new foundation and modernize the place or you fritter away a fortune on the spot fixes that never last.

The Cheswick coal fire power plant in Springdale, PA.

Last month, we celebrated EPA's announcement that it is proposing first-ever limits on carbon pollution from power plants, the nation's biggest contributors to climate change.  After years of paralysis in Washington, there is a real prospect of national action on climate that will shrink the U.S. carbon footprint and set the stage for more productive international negotiations in Paris, where the president may now arrive with new leverage and even some moral authority for a change.

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