And I encourage you to be one too

Alexandra Astor
Nov 20, 2018 · 6 min read
From Pujanak via Creative Commons

We know that relying on fossil fuels to meet our energy needs pollutes our air and water, threatens our pristine landscapes and shores, and contributes to an increasingly destabilized climate. But we also have the solutions — with unlimited energy from the sun and the wind, along with advances in technology, a future powered entirely with clean, renewable energy is within reach.

But sometimes, it is hard to envision what 100 percent renewable energy really means, or what it looks like in communities across the country

As a born-and-raised Vermonter, nothing beats summiting the peak of a tough hike and taking a big, deep breath of fresh, mountain air. Transitioning to 100 percent renewable energy sources means clean air free from pollution.

I went to school at the College of Charleston, where the vibrant coastal city life and culture were a staple of my college experience. Producing 100 percent renewable energy means using energy sources that don’t alter our climate, and don’t threaten Charleston and other coastal communities with rising sea levels and catastrophic storms.

I spend a week every summer with family on Nantucket — the beaches and ecosystems of the island are my sweet escape, just as they are for many others. Using 100 percent renewable energy would mean stopping dangerous practices such as offshore drilling, which pose a threat of oil spills that could devastate the island’s shores.

But don’t just take my word for it. A wide array of Americans tout many different reasons to transition to renewable energy.

We launched the Voices for 100% Renewable Energy project to highlight the personal stories of inspiring leaders across the country who are working towards a better future for all of us.

Care about the health of our planet? Take it from Jerry Greenfield, Co-Founder of Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream:

Jerry Greenfield

“The urgency of climate change demands that we move from small incremental shifts to a rapid, economy-wide shift to 100 percent clean energy… When Ben famously said years ago, ‘if it’s melted, it’s ruined,’ he was talking about ice cream but the same is true for our world.”

Care about healthier and safer communities? Listen to Amol Naik, Chief Resilience Officer for the City of Atlanta—a city committed to 100% clean electricity by 2035:

Amol Naik

“A clean energy transition generates positive net benefits to the community, from economic development, equity, public health, and quality of life points of view.”

Frustrated by lack of action at the national level? Listen to Lewis E. Reed, President of the Board of Aldermen in St. Louis:

Lewis E. Reed

“Moving the City of St. Louis to 100% clean, renewable energy is a commitment to our future generation’s health, safety, economy and more… Now more than ever, cities need to step up and make a strong statement to the current administration. Climate change is not ‘fake news’ and the City of St. Louis is ready to make a serious change.”

Care about the future? Listen to Nicole Hughes, Executive Director of Renewable Northwest:

Nicole Hughes

“The time to act on solutions to the climate crisis is TODAY. There is no other threat to the human race that is more important or more worth the investment to address than climate change…and therefore policies pushing utilities towards renewable energy and away from fossil fuels in the near term are absolutely necessary.”

Want to make a good investment? Listen to Chris Rose, Founder of Renewable Energy Alaska Project:

Chris Rose

“People often ask me whether getting to 100% renewable energy is realistic. My answer is that someday everyone will be using 100% renewables and that the communities, businesses and nations that get there first are going to be the most prosperous and attractive to investors.”

Care about self-sufficiency? Listen to Lolo Matalasi Moliga, Governor of American Samoa:

Governor Moliga

“The Territory of American Samoa’s geographic isolation from the economic mainstream creates crippling vulnerabilities which compels us to adopt the pathway moving our territory towards achieving self-sufficiency in food and energy security through capitalizing on the utilization of indigenous resources.”

Care about national security? Listen to U.S. Rep. Mike Quigley, from Illinois:

Representative Quigley

“It is up to Members of Congress and constituents alike to make our voices heard in support of 100% renewable energy. If we continue to abdicate our moral responsibility and let other countries assume our leadership role on climate change, we weaken our economy, risk our national security, and threaten our public health.”

Enjoy outdoor recreation? Listen to Kate Bowman, Program Manager at Utah Clean Energy:

Kate Bowman

“Like many others, I moved to Utah chasing winter… Climate change isn’t just bad news for Utah’s recreation industry — it threatens our health, our economy, and our way of life… Through reliance on clean energy we can protect our future, breathe cleaner air, and hopefully, ski more powder.”

Care about spirituality? Listen to Reverend Doug Bland, Executive Director of Arizona Interfaith Power and Light:

Doug Bland

“Our environmental crisis is, at its heart, a spiritual crisis. It’s caused by greed, self-centeredness and short-sightedness. We have a moral imperative to stop using fossil fuels and make a dramatic shift to renewable energy — -for the sake of our Mother Earth and for the sake of our children’s future.”

Want to encourage female empowerment? Listen to Neha Misra, Co-Founder and Chief Collaboration Officer at Solar Sister:

Neha Misra

“A 100% renewable energy future holds the promise of people, planet and prosperity in harmony. To make this a reality, we must make and open new doors for women and girls so they can claim opportunities, voice and confidence to build a world that is fair, safe and bright for all — not just a privileged few.”

Regardless of your location, profession, values, or interests, clean energy is a climate solution we can all get behind.

We hope that the voices of these leaders from across the America will inspire you to join us in embracing a vision of a society powered by 100 percent clean, renewable renewable energy.

Check out the project:

Environment America

Environment America is a federation of state-based, citizen-funded environmental groups working for clean air, clean water and open space. Part of The Public Interest Network.

Alexandra Astor

Written by

Environment America

Environment America is a federation of state-based, citizen-funded environmental groups working for clean air, clean water and open space. Part of The Public Interest Network.

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