Earth Day 2014
Humanity has come to an important crossroads. Two futures stand before us.
We can continue on the path that we’re on, exploiting oil and coal resources, destroying precious habitats and pumping unimaginable amounts of greenhouse gases into our air to satisfy our energy needs.
Or we can seek another course—a path that leads to a future where the power of the sun and the wind are harnessed in a clean and efficient way.
We can continue to use an outdated, ill-conceived, and inefficient electricity grid—one that relies upon centralized power sources wastefully distributing electricity through wires strung about our cities and towns.
Or we can pursue a future where communities distribute power through a diverse and decentralized grid. Solar panels adorn every building, and their owners can easily sell unused electrons back to the grid. Those who cannot install their own solar panels can invest in large-scale solar projects. Clean energy is more efficient and affordable than ever before.
We can continue to live and work in buildings that are poorly designed, with appliances that waste energy, building materials that don’t insulate properly, heating and air-conditioning systems that are inefficient, and electricity bills that are too high.
Or we can choose a future with smarter buildings that use sustainable building materials, have efficient appliances, and save energy and money.
We can continue to passively watch as the world’s climate changes—sea levels rise, floods and heat waves occur more frequently, crop yields are affected, plant and animal species die off, poor air quality threatens both our quality of life and our health.
Or we can work to keep our air and water clean. We can stabilize our climate. In the process, we can save money, improve our quality of life, and strengthen our economy by creating millions of green jobs.
And here’s the thing: this cleaner, more sustainable future is within our grasp.
To get there will require rethinking old conventions, investing in green technology, and passing legislation that improves access to clean energy.
Most of all, this future will require an educated public—a public willing to actively fight for the future that we, and our children, deserve, and demand that our leaders do the same.
Over the next two years, we will embark on a campaign that will educate, mobilize and inspire communities around the world in pursuit of this future.
Together, we can ensure that we take the right path.