As Strategic Demands’ editor reflects on half a century of climate work, beginning with Rep. George E Brown-(D) East LA, key drafter of the first National Climate Act in 1978, the climate science message we advanced decades ago is now, at last, coming into the spotlight. But is it too late?
The Global #ClimateCrisis Demands Global #ClimateAction
One of the essential arguments that we made back in the 1970s, after we helped establish the first Earth Day, and Congressman Brown led efforts to create the EPA, the Office of Science and Technology Policy, the Landsat program and an array of what was called “Big Science” missions to study Earth’s natural systems.
George Brown believed that science was an essential guide to effective action, and that government support of big science was essential to inform policy and management. The first National Climate Act was the Congressman’s way to turn science into action, and his work to set up a new Office of Science and Technology Policy inform the president on critical security matters with an action agenda that set in motion climate science and climate action.
As the 2021 international climate summit meets this week in Glasgow, take a look at the beginning ‘climate work product’ of the 1970s era Office of Science advising the president. We must ask why it has taken so long for the message to get through and the actions so necessary have yet to be implemented with the speed, scope and scale as we envisioned and advocated over the years.
It is encouraging to read stories that speak now of the reality we spoke of in the 1980s and 1990s.
Science missions observing and reporting, measuring and monitoring how nations are doing as they responded to climate change and existential security threats is now finally in the headlines. When the Washington Post reports how science can provide the data to guide policy decisions, that “Satellites can track if emissions pledges made at COP26 climate summit are being kept“, it’s good to hear the news.
Will the science be applied to global, concerted action now?
Remembering the First Earth Summit
Strategic Demands Editor: Thirty years ago and now I’m older and looking back at the first “Earth Summit” that led to the first global climate ‘Conference of the Parties’. My reports to the Environmental News Service (ENS) picked up on the green, environmental platform planks I was also adding to the Platform in Progress for California Governor Jerry Brown’s presidential campaign. The first Earth Summit and Governor Brown’s energetic efforts both moved a vital, forward-looking vision and both encountered myriad obstacles from powers-that-be and business-as-usual. The obstacles didn’t stop before or after 1992. The work continued on and continues to today… November 2021, fifty years on…
I’m now remembering and picking up and continuing the threads of Representative George E. Brown’s work to advance climate science, beginning in earnest with the first National Climate Act of 1978 and establishment of the Office of Science and Technology Policy to push what was called a “big science, earth science” agenda with the first generation of focused earth studies and science, measuring and monitoring ‘the Commons’ , earth’s atmosphere, natural resources (e.g., Landsat’s start up and a deep, multi-decade array of NASA/NOAA/USGS missions that have now continued for half a century.
A tip of our GreenPolicy360 hat to #PlanetCitizens and #PlanetCitizensPlanetScientists.
Here’s to Opportunities for Citizen Activism
After COP26, where do we go from here?
We should look to ‘cascading benefits that climate solutions can bring to human and planetary wellbeing.’
It is not too late to demand new definitions of our ‘indivisible security’ and act to envision and realize New Definitions of National Security.
Strategic Demands calls for preserving & protecting our common environmental security, the life-enabling atmosphere, life and future like on Earth.