American President Barrack Obama's new environmental team has taken shape and the team - which includes Nobel Prize-winning Physicist Steven Chu as Energy Secretary, Carol M. Browner (left, above), E.P.A. administrator under President Bill Clinton, as the top White House official on climate and energy policy, and Lisa Jackson as Director of the EPA - holds significant promise as a powerful ally to the green movement. According to a New York Times article following the December '08 announcements:
Collectively, they will have the task of carrying out Mr. Obama’s stated intent to curb global warming emissions drastically while fashioning a more efficient national energy system. And they will be able to work with strong allies in Congress who are interested in developing climate-change legislation, despite fierce economic headwinds that will amplify objections from manufacturers and energy producers.Said Ms. Jackson of her appointment: " As Administrator, I will ensure EPA’s efforts to address the environmental crises of today are rooted in three fundamental values: science-based policies and programs, adherence to the rule of law, and overwhelming transparency. By keeping faith with these values and unleashing innovative, forward-thinking approaches – we can further protect neighborhoods and communities throughout the country."
Unlike his predecessor, it appears President Obama is committed to facing the daunting challenges and threats posed by global climate change as well as to approaching the reduction of green house gas and CO2 emissions with a reality and science-based strategy informed by the potential for catastrophe of in- or in-adequate action.
This appears to be a welcome and promising moment for those around the globe who are committed to sustainable living - be it in one of the many Eco Towns and villages currently taking shape, in local communities and neighborhoods or in individual single-family residences.
They, and we, will be watching carefully in the weeks and months ahead as the new American President lays out his plans, delineates his environmental priorities and marshals his troops to the battle that looms, fierce and dark, on the near horizon.