Nancy Skinner – My Climate Journey “Baby steps to Forest Gump-like Leaps”.
It led me on a wild ride I must say.
We received a Presidential Award for our work, “ironically” presented by VP Al Gore, who had inspired my career (yes- that’s me in the planning meeting in 1993.
I decided to counter the lies told on the mostly conservative dominated talk radio landscape and landed a gig on WLS in Chicago for 8 years, and became a nationally-syndicated radio host and regular commentator on national TV for a decade. I interviewed authors that had uncovered that unholy alliance between Big oil, think tanks and talk radio and did my best to break through the lies and a mainstream media that insisted on presenting “balanced” reporting by climate deniers against the “objective” fact that the overwhelming balance of scientists agreed on the science.
DETROIT, MICHIGAN — Congressional candidate Nancy Skinner is taking a novel approach when it comes to the issue of climate change: she’s running on it.
Skinner, a Democratic candidate for Michigan’s 11th district, is making climate change a central part of her campaign, hoping her focus on an issue that so many other politicians have shirked or denied will make her stand out in the race, whose primary election is August 5. She told ThinkProgress that taking action to address climate change is particularly pertinent in Michigan, due to the state’s history in and capacity for manufacturing.
“Here we are now with all this infrastructure, where we can ramp up our production of wind turbine engines and solar,” Skinner said. “The United States cannot fall behind on this, and there’s no better place than Michigan to really start producing this stuff quickly. So it’s great for Michigan, and it’s a must for the country.”
While she’s running for a House seat, Skinner’s not just focusing on what she’ll do for her own district, or even her state, if she’s elected. She said she plans to create a group that works to get candidates who are pro-action on climate change elected, a sort of Emily’s List — a group that works to get pro-choice, Democratic women elected to Congress — for climate change.
She wants her voice on climate change to be among the first of many elected to Congress in the coming years, so that Congress has a chance to produce real, meaningful legislation on climate change. Presidential action helps, she said, but an act of Congress is needed if climate change is to be alleviated, and it’ll only happen if enough people in Congress are supportive of climate action.
With no time for mourning (the primary was August 8th), I volunteered to lead a bus from Metro-Detroit Bus to the People’s Climate March in New York City, September 22, 2014. Where organizers expected 100,000, the March turned out over 400,000 in NYC alone and sister marches across the world.
The bus had many graduate students on it from all Universities in Michigan in fields of sustainability who had been quite discouraged over the progress over on climate change. They returned as an inspired and determined force being with so many like-minded people from the around the world.
I then headed to Rio De Janeiro to be trained personally trained by Al Gore and become part of Climate Reality’s Leadership Corp., now 7000 worldwide. It was two intensive days of training with Al Gore and top scientists and we learned the background on his famous slide presentation, slide by slide, and are certified to present the much-updated (especially with all the great news on the rapid advancement of renewable energies across the world) Inconvenient Truth Slide Show. Anyone can visit www.climatereality.com and request a Presentation from a Climate Reality Leader near you.
I tell you my whole story because I could never believe how the spark of my first understanding the coming crisis of Climate Change in 1993 after I read Earth in the Balance, turned into a decision to act. I didn’t know how. I had graduated from The Ross School of Business Degree at the University of Michigan as a finance major. No one at that even knew what the words sustainable development meant. But I took an act a private citizen to do something by calling the White House with my “big bold idea” to rebuild the flooded towns as models of sustainability.
That act led to a series of exciting opportunities to make a difference, and at many times, disappointing effort to overcome the forces of denial.
The acts of individual people, who decided to study Climate, teach young people about it, start advocacy organizations, write blogs and books and articles, invent sustainable products, study communications, enter politics, organize several huge Marches now, and even act in their own communities in any way they can, are how we got so far in the world.
One of the happiest moments in my life was to see the whole world agree to finally, after twenty years of negotiations, #ActonClimate in Paris in November of 2015.
I knew it was also a “Big Bold Idea”, but the world embraced it, and the momentum have shifted in the right direction.
I started Climate Talk Radio both as a natural extension of mission, but also because the Election of 2016 posed the most stark choices possible: one that led to continuing the progress of the Obama Administration and where Hillary pledge to “create enough renewable energy to power every home” and unbelievably (and I mean beyond reality) that Donald Trump would become the GOP nominee, and so little media focus on his Climate Change views, “That is a hoax”, and a Pledge to withdraw from the Paris Agreement and cancel all climate funding. My team and I went to Penn State and interviewed Michael Mann, a leading Climate Scientist who was forced into political discourse because his scientific conclusions known as the famous “hockey stick graph”, brought on a deluge of backlash from Deniers and their super-funded, well-oiled (pun intended) machine. He agreed. Trump would be a disaster for climate change. You can watch that interview here.
I reached out to all the fabulous Show Contributors to see if they would add their voices to Climate Talk Radio so we could build a national and global conversation in concert to grow our momentum as part of the global momentum.
We have begun in fits and starts as funding is difficult. There are so many great efforts in every corner, helping to save ecosystems (and yes- that includes us). I get it.
The technology to take live calls now adds new fire to the show. Hearing from average people, with all points of view (but deniers beware, we have you bested), but it a bi-partisan show with Republicans, conservatives, an evangelical climate scientist included, as there is new life among those who understand the Climate Challenge, and have decided to engage with different approaches (as strong as a Carbon Tax & Dividend), a new Bi-Partisan Climate Solutions Caucus (34 Members Strong), and business leaders, leading the way for years, are not slowing down given the changing politics of any administration (it’s just smart business).
I seek to elevate these voices beyond print and self-selective web browsing. Our voices need to be heard NOW. The window to address climate change and meet the 1.5 C goal and 2 C limit is short, the political winds have fiercely changed (among politicians in charge, not with the public opinion of Republicans and Independent voters. Those polls overwhelming want action on climate change.
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