Join the Virtual March on Paris
The big march in Paris was cancelled, but you can still march virtually by changing your profile picture on Facebook to the Earth at bit.ly/toloveearth. Here’s an easy way to let world leaders gathered in Paris know you expect them to reach a climate agreement. If enough of us do this, believe me they will know. Mark Ruffalo and Desmond Tutu have changed their profile picture to the Earth. Hope you will be next.
Meanwhile, the Earth now has its own Facebook page.
Visit www.facebook.com/earth to like the new Facebook page for the earth and its climate. The Earth Page aims to bring compelling content about the wonder of our planet, and what we need to do to protect it, to a global audience on Facebook. As more people like the page, it will become a giant education platform to help preserve our climate – and thereby civilization, prosperity, security, and — please tell your conservative friends — our freedom.
All the media coverage on the Paris talks could well have an impact on American public opinion on climate. The polls show only 53 percent of Americans believe humans are changing the climate – not enough to get action. We can’t even get 51 United States Senators to pass a non-binding resolution simply admitting to basic the role fossil fuel emissions play in heating the earth. Of course this makes us something of a laughing stock in the rest of the world.
In no other country is there this much skepticism. And because of this, the Paris agreements can’t be in the form of a treaty, which would require a two-thirds vote in the U.S. Senate. If you can’t get half of them to even admit that humans are in charge of the thermostat, a treaty is simply impossible for now.
It is inevitable that eventually the majority of our Congress will get on board. As the seas rise to flood the National Mall and the Norfolk Naval Base, as the price of food skyrockets from over-heating the globe, most everyone will end up on the same side of this issue. What will happen is similar to what happens when we are attacked by a foreign power. Ideology ends. We come together.
The problem, which not enough people understand yet, is how little time we have. And this is because the excess carbon we are pumping from under the ground stays in the atmospheric system for many, many centuries. The atmosphere is too full of carbon now, and each day our emissions rise to stay there trapping heat on earth essentially forever, at least on the human time frame. Time is running out, literally, according to the physics of our situation. Physics trumps politics in the end, as Bill McKibben keeps pointing out.
Hopefully Paris will help speed the moment of cognition. Maybe we need a virtual reality headset for everyone to see the future of our weather — that might do it. In the meantime, hopefully the Earth Page will help too.
Artists, film-makers, journalists, celebrities, global NGOs, and scientific organizations will all be posting creatively on the Earth Page. The folks at Upworthy, Melcher Media and Action Sprout are all involved, and I’m leading the curation effort with others at Fenton. The page is a project of Planet.org, a non-profit affiliated with Planet Labs, an Earth-imaging and data company whose mission is to use space, earth imagery and technology to help ensure the sustainability and welfare of life on earth.
Note: this post originally appeared on David Fenton’s blog on the Huffington Post. View the original version.