For my last column of 2007 I figured it smart to mix it up a bit, and instead of bitching and complaining about the state of the world, I would dedicate 500 words or so to recognizing the environmental highlights of 2007, a year destined for the history books. Assuming of course records will be preserved and we have access to them.
In spite of the angry tone in which I usually write, I will forgo my usual doom and gloom persona to wax somewhat Pollyanna. Although a pessimist , I am not blind to optimism nor reasons for it. But before I make nice, let me just say; "Screw Time Magazine and Vladimir Putin! Al Gore was person of the Year," Time Warner was too busy contributing to global deforestation to notice.
History will remember 2007 as the year of Al Gore Jr. Not only did Gore's Inconvenient Truth win the Academy Award for best documentary in February, he was also awarded a Nobel Peace Prize, along with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), for his work to warn the world of the building threat of global warming and climate change.
Or as the Nobel Committee put it: "efforts to build up and disseminate greater knowledge about man-made climate change, and to lay the foundations for the measures that are needed to counteract such change."
Accepting his award with his Nobel Lecture on December 10, 2007 Gore did not let up on the truth talking, laying it on the line with a candor not seen in American leaders for more thirty years., saying "We, the human species, are confronting a planetary emergency – a threat to the survival of our civilization that is gathering ominous and destructive potential even as we gather here."
Two days later Nobel Laureate Al Gore was in Bali encouraging delegates to the U.N. Climate Change Conference with a keynote speech asking the world Community to do the hard work of continuing the Kyoto Protocol implementation process and prepare for 2009 treaty talks in Copenhagen, with new provisions taking affect in 2010, two years earlier than currently mandated.
Al Gore rocked 2007.
On the local level, in spite of a knuckle dragging trio of councilmen proving themselves to be a malicious majority, The Encinitas City Council voted to cover the roof of City Hall with Solar Panels, create an environmental review commission and an Invasive and toxic species committee. Running between Oceanside and Escondido, the new commuter "Sprinter"train, began final tests early in December to begin scheduled service in January 2008. And Vista wisely decided to refrain from developing City-owned property adjacent to Buena Vista Creek and the Historic Rancho Buena Vista Adobe.
Things are changing along with the weather, I can see that. After watching San Diego County deal with the fires of October I am convinced that we the people can save ourselves from ourselves, if we choose to do so.
I'm with Al Gore. It's time to choose.