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    December 26, 2017 | 6:00 AM

    What Inspired Us at Climate Reality in 2017?

    When the fight for climate solutions is your everyday life, what inspires you?

    We’re admittedly an eclectic bunch here at Climate Reality. Behind all the Facebook posts, campaigns, and global productions like 24 Hours of Reality is a group of lawyers, ex-bike messengers, former journalists, dyed-in-the wool policy wonks, hikers, Capitol Hill veterans, data pros, snowboarders, meteorologists, explorers, and pretty much everything else you can think of. Check out our playlists and you’ll see everything from SZA to Stravinsky to Sturgill Simpson to Sleater-Kinney. But what gets all of us out of bed in the morning is the same core belief that we must, we can, and we will solve this climate crisis.

    Some days, of course, are harder than others – after all, when you spend every day working on a global crisis, some days you end up grappling with some rough headlines and statistics. But there are also incredible developments and stories coming through that tell us, yeah, we will solve this.

    With 2017 about to wrap and 2018 about to start, we asked the band of outsiders at Climate Reality what were the stories from this year that not only challenged them but gave them the hope and energy to keep fighting day-in and day-out. Here are the top stories that get us to work on time – and hopefully will inspire you too.

    Coal Will Not Bring Appalachia Back to Life – but Tech and Government Could

    Historically, the Appalachia region in the US has relied on coal mining to support its economy, but as the demand for coal wanes and renewable energy technologies become cost competitive with fossil fuels, life in the hollers has been changing. But now many in Appalachia are ready to make a shift and embrace new careers in technology and with the federal government. Click here to read more about this exciting transition.

    How Does Climate Change Affect Forest Fires?

    With the fires raging in Southern California, this blog post from May feels more timely than ever. The National Wildlife Federation notes that increases in average annual temperatures create conditions that dramatically elevate the risk and severity of forest fires. Add to that below-average rainfall and the destruction worsens. A transition to a clean energy economy can help save our forests and those who call them home – read more here.

    Why People Ignore the Science Behind the Climate Crisis (and What You Can Do)

    The science is clear: climate change is real, and humans are causing it. If 97 percent of scientists agree, why is the fact cause for debate? This blog post explores two psychological concepts that help explain why some people reject the scientific truth behind the climate crisis – and what you can do to help bridge the gap.

    Why the US Leaving the Paris Agreement Isn’t the End of the World

    We’re not going to sugarcoat it: the US leaving the Paris Agreement – the breakthrough deal 195 countries and parties signed back in 2015 to cut greenhouse gas emissions and together limit global warming – is a huge disappointment. But there’s good news: even without the federal government involved, cities, states, businesses, colleges, and citizens across the US are driving a shift to clean energy and bringing down emissions. Just like the Paris Agreement intended.

    Climate Champ or Climate Chump? Test Your Knowledge

    What is the biggest producer of greenhouse gases? What was the hottest year on record? How many scientists agree that human-made pollution is causing climate change? Our staff loves this quiz that tests your knowledge of the climate crisis – if you haven’t taken it yet, what are you waiting for? Click here to see if you’re a climate champion.

    The Reality of the Climate Crisis

    Climate change: it’s real, and it’s affecting everyone that calls the Earth home. From women and children to low-income communities and indigenous peoples to immigrants and refugees, no one is immune to the impacts of increased temperatures, air pollution, rising sea levels, and much more. But there’s another reality: we can do something about it. Back in April, we took to the streets to show the world that we will solve this crisis. Download our action kit today to help make a difference.

    An Inconvenient Truth Then and Now: What’s Changed for Our Climate Since 2006?

    Eleven years ago, An Inconvenient Truth prompted millions to start asking questions about the climate crisis and doing something about it, helping shape the modern climate movement we know today. And in the decade since, a lot has changed – we’ve seen progress, but there’s still a lot of work to do to build a sustainable future. Take a look at this blog post to see exactly how far we’ve come – and how far we still have left to go.

    The Expert Perspective: Scott Pruitt’s Weak Case for Repealing the Clean Power Plan

    The Clean Power Plan – a centerpiece of President Obama’s commitment to tackling climate change aims to reduce the carbon footprint of coal-fired power plants – is now under threat from the Trump Administration. Bob Sussman, former senior policy council to the EPA administrator, explains the myths and misconceptions behind the administration’s talking points – and why nothing about this move makes sense. If you missed this post, you’ll want to arm yourself with the facts here

    The Solar Industry Is Creating Jobs Nearly 17 Times Faster Than the Rest of the US Economy

    The numbers are in and the future of solar is looking very bright - the industry is growing almost 17 times faster than the American economy as a whole. That’s incredible progress towards our goal of a clean and renewable future for all. Oh, and did we mention wind energy is thriving too? Take our word for it.

    Five Sustainable Cities Making a Difference for the Planet

    From Copenhagen to San Francisco to Singapore, cities are taking the lead on clean energy and climate solutions. As just one example, even as the current residents of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington, DC keep looking back to the nineteenth century and fossil fuels, the city itself is looking forward. Recently DC became the first city to earn a Platinum rating in the US Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) system, thanks to its efforts to cut emissions and increase energy efficiency in the built environment. What’s more, several more cities are following close behind. Take stock of five star examples of sustainability in action – and rest well knowing there are many more where those came from.

    The Climate Reality Project