Here is my Earth Day reflection: No single person, politician, political party, or nation can solve the climate-change or sustainability crisis. The responsibility falls on every human being on planet Earth. Young and old, left and right, and rural and urban citizens must unite, collaborate, and cooperate.
Business and industry, and federal, state, and local politicians must enact public policy that reflects sustainability. The first Earth Day” (1970) was excellent, in that the left and right united to change the American landscape and the world. Clean water, air, and soil became priorities, and the EPA was established to advance these goals.
Today, many citizens feel helpless and ask this: “how can I help?” Some individuals think environmental issues are not important or real… or not concerns of their friends, family, church members, or talk-show hosts. If you are in this group, please consider this fact: Texas is not only Red, but Green. Many Texas Republicans view green living as excellent political and business goals, and reflect fiscal responsibility.
It is a fact: clean, renewable energies, economies, and jobs are now embraced by Americans of all ideologies. Texas, known for big business, big oil, and all sizes of pickup trucks is transforming into an environmental beacon.
“Here is the rest of the story,” as Paul Harvey, my favorite talk radio personality (and conservative), stated each day as he told his back stories that included historical facts rather than inflammatory rhetoric.
Texas is a stellar Green state. Its true! Texas produces the largest amount of wind energy in America. More than Iowa, California, and Oklahoma combined, the states that rank second, third and fourth. The 781.5MW Roscoe Wind Farm in Texas, US, currently ranks as the world’s third largest wind farm.
“Georgetown, Texas, an exurb of Austin with a population of 50,000, is one of the first cities in the country to be 100 percent powered by renewable energy (solar and wind).” San Antonio, Texas, recently ranked number seven on the list of top solar cities in the US, according to new research from Environment America.
Climate Connections notes that “General Motors aims to make an SUV plant in Arlington, Texas, 100-percent wind-powered by 2018… The Arlington plant makes more than 1,000 SUV’s a day.” This is impressive, forward thinking, and sustainable.
Trammell S. Crow recently wrote an article in the Dallas News with this headline, “The Texas bullet train marries environmentalism and capitalism.” Crow goes on to explain:
As a self-described green Republican, I’ve spent years building bridges between conservatives and progressives. I believe there’s a positive intersection where capitalism and environmental consciousness co-exist, creating value and prosperity for all involved.
We’ve already seen signs of that in Texas in EARTHx, a nonprofit education and awareness group that I founded in 2011. It has turned a four-day Dallas-based conference and exhibition about Earth Day into a national event to reconcile economy and ecology, Republicans and Democrats.
If one looks at the clean energy facts, there are as many red states as blue states reducing carbon emissions by switching to clean renewable energies, economies, and jobs. Will Chautuqua County be part of the new green economic visions?
Ask Chautauqua County’s politicians how they are moving our region ahead? We have a Fortune 500 Company that is a sustainability role model in our community-Cummins Engine.
James Colby is a Jamestown resident.