UK Company, Combat Climate Change, Urges Climate Change Action for Practical Reasons While Debate Continues

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A UK business is taking a different, less partisan tack on the climate change / global warming question, and profiting by acknowledging that the situation is, at best, confusing for most consumers in their country. Combat Climate Change Ltd had decided that taking immediate, practical action to counter global warming trends is more important than winning converts to the cause.

According to a survey commissioned by CombatClimateChange.co.uk and published in a news release from the company, more than 45% of UK consumers find the question of global climate change is far from resolved in their minds. Breaking the UK numbers down, the company’s polling indicates that of baby boomers in the 55-64 age range, only 30% were delaying action, while in the 16-24 age range, a full 50% were taking a “wait and see” attitude. Combat Climate Change Ltd. offers a website designed to present multiple perspectives on the issue, allowing consumers to digest the facts and arguments and make up their own minds. Since, as they acknowledge, this process could take considerable time for the 41% of people who are still undecided or confused and delaying action, they offer another, simpler perspective: many of the current actions that individuals can take will indisputably benefit their pocketbooks anyway.

In the US, starry-eyed Hollywood personalities claim that putting in a few compact fluorescent (CF) bulbs will “change the world,” and consumers are understandably skeptical of such simplistic claims, though for many this simplifies the matter to the point where they can take action. For others, the long life and low cost of operation of a CF bulb is a better simple selling point. People have seen how energy savings benefits them personally, even if they can’t yet fathom why lowering their electric bill is to the electric company’s benefit as well.

Combat Climate Change Ltd. in the UK is bridging the gap between the “true believer” in global warming, and the skeptic who is delaying action for the resolution of an issue that may never come, or may come much too late. By addressing the need for information as well as the usefulness of intelligent action right now, the company stands to profit from common sense. The managing director, energy specialist Stewart Grew, is quoted in the release explaining the company’s pragmatic point of view: “The fact is, by saving energy now, every individual can save money – and they just might save the planet at the same time. If all the concerns are real, they will have done their bit for the world. If it all turns out to be so much hot air, then they will have made their own world a better place anyway. Everyone wins.”…

Downwinders At Risk Environmental Group Battles Politics

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For ten years one group has been fighting pollution near Dallas/Fort Worth, TX.

Downwinders At Risk, a 501© (4) group with an education fund which is a 501© (3) organization actively works to end cement kiln incineration of hazardous waste at the Midlothian industrial complex.

Even the famous Erin Brockovitch has helped with efforts.

“We document and expose the dangers of cement kiln incineration and other hazardous industrial practices,” said Becky Bornhorst, a board member of Downwinders. “We educate the public and provide concerned citizens the means to help reduce toxic industrial air pollution.”

Bornhorst said the group promotes public policy designed to improve the quality of air for children, the elderly, and all at-risk people.

Anyone can become a member by volunteering, donating, or taking action online at downwindersatrisk.org. They have approximately 2,500 members.

Some of the organization’s latest accomplishments include joining with other Texas groups in filing a lawsuit against the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for failure to bring Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) into compliance with the Clean Air Act. In May they reached a historic settlement with local, state, and federal governments to put DFW on a faster track for clean air.

Downwinders spent two years in negotiations with Holcim Cement and the EPA over a permit application that would increase production and emissions at their Midlothian plant. Holcim agreed to install and test new pollution control technology, provide $2.25 million dollars for other projects aimed at reducing ozone forming emissions in the DFW area, provide monitoring for particulate matter for three years, up to $120,000 over five years for an independent scientist to review compliance and operations at Holcim, and to reduce the limits of ozone-forming emissions previously requested by the company.

Downwinders and a group of Midlothian citizens successfully opposed TXI’s attempt to discontinue use of pollution control equipment and joined with that city’s residents to feature Brockovich at a town hall meeting.

The organization is taking the lead in local grassroots efforts to write a new State Implementation Plan for ozone pollution, says Bornhorst.

“We don’t have much time,” she said. “In February recommendations from local officials was due. Then the plan goes to Austin. Citizens who want to influence public policy need to act now or lose the chance to impact things.”

The group’s goal is to reduce toxic industrial air pollution in North Texas. They have support from citizens, the PTA, local doctors, and the Sierra Club.

The group was founded by Sue Pope and Jim Schermbeck.

Bornhorst said what makes Downwinders unique is that it has survived as unaffiliated local grassroots groups for over a decade, something rare in the country, even rarer in Texas.

“Downwinders serves as an information clearinghouse for national and international citizens’ groups,” said Bornhorst. “People fighting cement plant pollution in New York, Montana, South Carolina, Pennsylvania, Oklahoma, and Michigan as well as Puerto Rico, Great Britain, Croatia, and Mexico have asked and received our assistance.”

Bornhorst urges other groups such as hers to never give up.…