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Abigail Dillen's blog

NASA/NOAA via NOAA Environmental Visualization Laboratory

The stroke of a pen has been known to shape the course of history. On Earth Day, more than 170 countries signed the global climate deal reached in Paris last December. Do their signatures herald a turning point? Will our children’s children learn to revere the Paris Agreement as the global charter that secured their future? It depends on what we do—or fail to do—in the next two years to implement and strengthen the agreement.

Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court temporarily stayed the Clean Power Plan, but business leaders are already working on the transition to clean energy sources and have no plans to stop.

America’s contribution to global climate action is unfolding against the backdrop of a courtroom drama that threatens to obscure what should be center stage—the accelerating shift away from coal and toward clean energy that is already happening across the country. 

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.

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