There is a way to address climate change -- we have the needed technology and financing -- but is there enough collective will? Can a society so deeply divided on so many other issues agree to move on this one?
Clean energy authority Andreas Karelas is optimistic and, in fact, already sees momentum.
Drawing from his book Climate Courage: How Tackling Climate Change Can Build Community, Transform the Economy, and Bridge the Political Divide in America, he points to recent polling that shows a majority of registered voters in both parties supportive of climate initiatives. Grassroots efforts are beginning to take hold in many communities and neighborhoods, where schools, houses of worship, and community centers are going solar. That tends to be contagious. And it can appeal to conservatives who prefer a bottoms-up approach to government intervention.
Rather than fear-mongering, Karelas argues for a positive call to action that focuses, among other things, on the rapidly falling costs and increased efficiencies of clean energy technologies compared to fossil fuels and the rate of job creation in the clean energy sector. And while grassroots efforts are essential, he also takes stock of the emphasis on new, cleaner energy sources in President Biden’s $2 trillion infrastructure plan – which if passed “would be the most significant climate change legislation we’ve ever seen,” he says.
Karelas is the founder and executive director of RE-volv, a San Francisco-based nonprofit that empowers people around the country to help community nonprofits go solar and raise awareness about the benefits of clean energy. He also has worked with the American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE), the National Audubon Society, blueEnergy, and the Center for Resource Solutions.
Watch his presentation live online at YouTube.com/kclibrary.