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“Fierce Urgency of Now” and Climate Change

2010 April 29

After volunteering at the EPA booth during the Earth Day festivities this past weekend, I walked over to the Climate Rally at the National Mall. Speaker after speaker highlighted the need to take action to develop a comprehensive policy to address climate change. It was interesting to see those who had participated at the first Earth Day 40 years ago in 1970 speaking at the rally on Sunday. While they pointed to the environmental progress achieved over the years, several indicated that on this 40th anniversary of Earth Day, the world faces new challenges. Many of them joined their voices to call for urgent action on climate change today in 2010.climate-rally

Just two days after the festivities, EPA has published a report entitled Climate Change Indicators in the United States . The report analyzes 24 key indicators that show how climate change impacts the health and environment across the nation. While it focuses on the effects of these indicators in the United States, global trends are presented as well. Some of the findings point to an increase in average temperatures across the United States, rising sea levels, heavier precipitation, and a greater intensity of tropical storms, to name a few. The report concludes that there is compelling evidence that fundamental changes to our environment are unfolding before our very eyes.

The urgency of the situation brought memories of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s famous “I have a dream
speech delivered at the other end of the National Mall nearly forty-seven years ago. Although the great civil rights leader sought to stress the urgency for action in favor of racial justice and equality, a parallel can be drawn regarding the urgency to address the current challenge of climate change. As Martin Luther King, Jr. said on that hallowed spot in front of the Lincoln Memorial, “This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism…It would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of the moment.”

While the challenges seem monumental for the average citizen, there are simple steps that we all can take to reduce our environmental impacts. Pick something that you can do today!

About the author: Lina Younes has been working for EPA since 2002 and chairs EPA’s Multilingual Communications Task Force. Prior to joining EPA, she was the Washington bureau chief for two Puerto Rican newspapers and she has worked for several government agencies.

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

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8 Responses leave one →
  1. Jackenson Durand permalink
    April 29, 2010

    “When we all had been getting a nature dream (mission), the Environment Justice Moment shall be now by greening what we shall be green or by rebuilding palms, when palms shall need to spread over and by refracting our blue Ozone all over our Ocean coast line”

  2. armansyahardanis permalink
    April 29, 2010

    American is American. In 1960’s Scott Mc Kenzie sang “San Fransisco” with “Hippies Style (flower in their hair)”, — All cross the Nations. Such a strange vibrations. Hmm people emotion… people emotion…
    The main result : The Fall of Berlin Wall (1989). “Wind of Change” said “Scorpion” group band. Now, for “Climate Rally”, Louis Armstrong (1901 – 1971) is respectful greeting to Young American Generation with his song “What A wonderful World”. And so, what next ???

  3. David Mc permalink
    April 30, 2010

    It’s “people in motion” but I actually like your lyrics better armansyahardanis.

    The great sachmo, he can still remind us-

  4. David Mc permalink
    April 30, 2010

    I think those links to his song were legit, since they had advertisements. Oh, I see. Well do a net “search” on sachmo’s song. It’s worth 2 good hits.

  5. Alan Gregory permalink
    May 1, 2010

    It remains extremely disturbing to me that the average American I see every day in this corner of Pennsylvania has no earthly idea of the impact their daily activities – principally driving a car and powering up a gas-fed lawn mower – have on the atmosphere that sustains us all. Additionally, while alternative energy developments are impressive, I still have not read or heard of a single coal-fired power plant being shut down because it power output was replaced by wind or solar or stomething else. Why?

  6. Lina-EPA permalink*
    May 3, 2010

    While many people are unaware of the connection between their daily activities and environmental impacts, we feel we have the responsibility to increase awareness to make them see the light.

  7. laojiao permalink
    May 7, 2010

    Lina, environmental reeducation is the only responsible solution. That will make them see the light!

  8. Marc Azada permalink
    July 29, 2011

    It really is important to know more things about our planet. Climate change is really hard to solve. Because people are not aware, good thing post like this are here so people who are not aware can read it. Great work!

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