A Change in the Weather

This week I represented the ECG at a “Leaders Roundtable”discussion of global warming sponsored by El Pueblo and the National Latino Coalition on Climate Change in Raleigh NC.  The well founded premise of the roundtable was that as climate change will likely have a disproportionately large impact on Latinos and other minorities, it is essential to engage the Latino community in efforts to address global warming.  This discussion was part of a series of regional briefings at cities including Chicago, New York, Albuquerque,  Philadelphia and Orlando. This North Carolina meeting was well attended with representatives from many community and national groups including the Sierra Club, Environment North Carolina, the NC Solar Center, Environment America and experts from both academia and the private sector.

I was delighted to meet at this roundtable so many new contacts and natural allies of the ECG.  Much of our discussion focused on important economics issues of how to protect both families and communities while moving towards a sustainable economy.  One often hears these days the argument that green technologies and investments are consistent with economic growth and prosperity.  At this meeting we heard from many community organizers and advocates the corollary; that what is good for families and communities can be good for the environment.

Key actions called for at the meeting to address climate change are consistent with the goals and vision of the ECG.  The creation of green jobs, reduction of greenhouse gases, support of local economies and health promotion in an uncertain environment are all key elements of a sensible policy on climate chance and a great way to support the ECG.

Everyone attending agreed that time was far too short to cover all of the important topics considered that evening. For example, Javier Sierra of Sierra Communications had only a moment to discuss his concerns about the dangers of environmental decision making in crisis mode; a topic I plan to explore in my next blog.

And to give you just a taste of the many exciting topics that we touched on, I simply can not resist reporting on the delightful Peruvian buffet to which were we treated.  As I munched on a wonderfully spicy yet creamy potato salad I could not help but think to myself “Why stop at Florida? Let keep the ECG rolling on around the Gulf of Mexico and head on south”. The Pan-American Greenway has a nice ring to it and has friends all along the way.

steve@greenway.org

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