Your blogmeister has been too busy to blog these days, and today, although a Saturday, is no exception. It's Earth Day, one of the college's big annual events, but due to a cognitive dissonance, or scheduling malady, or some such brain fart among Maine canoe race enthusiasts, it's also the annual Kendusgeag River Race.
They always do this. Well, not quite always. But often.
Accordingly, the fishers of men (and women and small children), otherwise know as Unity College Search and Rescue Team, go out. And since I'm the SAR Team adviser, I go out too. You'll be able to see the photos of us pulling the punters out of the water over on the SAR Team blog later today or tomorrow. That's if I don't drop my camera in the river.
This means that about one year in two, or two years in three, I miss Earth Day. But it's a good fun day on the banks of the river fishing out near-drowned and freezing folks. I generally catch more people than I do fish on the one or two days each year I go trout fishing.
But you shouldn't miss Earth Day. There are events at the college all day.
On Monday, I will be traveling to the NCSE Federal-University Dialogue, along with other leaders in college and university climate change and environment education, to talk about eduction for energy and environment with the new administrators. I'm hoping to get briefed on the administration's policy pushes, particularly in light of the decision to force congress to legislate on greenhouse gasses by using the EPA listing process under the Clean Air Act.
This was my Earth day surprise on reading the paper this morning, and the news marks the first serious step by any US federal executive branch agency to do anything other than study climate change. Like a lot of environmental policy folks who work in climate change, I had read the reports from the NYT and others that Obama was going to punt until the recession was over, and I was telling my students that I was getting less hopeful and anticipatory as a result.
Our own Maine legislature is reportedly having a hard time sorting out what to do about renewable energy. I wonder how many folks realize how much more quickly the rule-making process under the EPA can move, compared to legislation. I wonder too, how many realize that a national CAA Act climate change rule that reduces GHG emissions is also a national and state-level renewable energy policy by default.
Feet of clay make for slow plodding, and it's been a long haul. I first learned how dangerous climate change was in the 1980s. Since then we've only increased our awareness of the dangers. Now it looks like we're finally on a timetable to do something.