Climate change our most serious security threat

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Ask Adm. Samuel Locklear III, commander of the U.S. military’s sprawling Pacific Command, what his most serious threat is, and you might be surprised. There’s a long list of possibilities, after all: North Korean nukes, rising Chinese military power and aggressive cyberespionage, multiple territorial disputes between major powers and persistent insurgencies from the Philippines to Thailand, not to mention protecting some of the world’s most vulnerable shipping choke points. Add all of that up, though, and there’s something even more dangerous to keep even the most seasoned military officer up at night: the looming disaster of climate change.

Fuel standards bill’s implementation is vital to California

By Dr. James K. Brown

Oakland Tribune My Word © 2013 Bay Area News Group

August 6, 2013

One year ago Tuesday, a fire at Chevron’s Richmond oil refinery sent black smoke wafting across the East Bay.

Contra Costa Health Services asked residents to stay in their homes, close the windows, and wait it out. About 11,000 people sought medical treatment. Many suffered from eye, nasal and throat irritations that were short-lived. For those with pre-existing asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, their cough and shortness of breath increased dramatically, sometimes for extended periods.

This refinery fire was a dramatic demonstration that air pollution is bad for our health. A more compelling concern is the evidence that chronic, low-level exposure to air pollution has serious long-lasting adverse effects, including stunting of lung growth and increasing asthma among children, premature death in those with chronic lung diseases, and heart attacks.

Next 10: Unraveling California’s Ties To Petroleum

by Dana Hull

June 19, 2013

California is a leader on the renewable energy front: utilities are well on their way to meeting the 33 percent RPS mandate, rooftop solar power is growing like crazy, and there are big desires to electrify transportation via High Speed Rail.

But a new report, released by the nonprofit, nonpartisan group Next 10, notes that a variety of policies keep California locked into a transportation system that is largely dependent on oil. Part of it is sheer size: there are 35,209,430 registered motor vehicles in the state.

Fueling a Better Future: The Many Benefits of Half the Oil

We can cut projected U.S. oil use in half over the next 20 years and create more than 1 million jobs, reduce annual oil spending by $550 billion, and eliminate 2 billion metric tons of global warming emissions per year by 2035

DOWNLOAD: Fueling a Better Future: The Many Benefits of Half the Oil

When it comes to oil use, our country is at a crossroads: we can put the U.S. on a path toward cutting projected oil consumption in half, or we can continue to threaten our health and economic well-being by moving to increasingly dirty, inaccessible, and dangerous sources of oil.

The choice is clear. It is time to commit to creating a future in which we live in healthier communities, prosper from a strong economy, and help safeguard our planet against the disastrous effects of climate change.