News & Events to Inspire STEAM Education

Senator Bill Nelson at Climate Reality Leadership Corps Training in Florida

Senator Bill Nelson at Climate Reality Leadership Corps Training in Florida

Oct 5, 2015

Senator Bill Nelson of Florida was one of the key speakers at Climate Reality Leadership Corps Training in Miami to discuss the climate crisis and for all of us to be better stewards of our planet. Bill was inspired to become an environmentalist after spending six days orbiting the Earth aboard the space shuttle Columbia. He was struck at the fragility of the earth. He told us that he looked back from the perspective of the window of a spacecraft saying, “The earth is so beautiful, it’s so colorful, it’s so alive, it’s this magnificent creation suspended in the middle of nothing and space is nothing. It goes on and on for billions of light years..I didn’t see the divisions that bedevils us here on the face of the earth, I didn’t see the political divisions, partisan divisions, racial divisions, ethnic divisions but I saw is we are all in this together as citizens of planet earth. Now that is a responsibility of us collectively as citizens of planet earth to do something about it and save this extraordinary planet called earth.” I had the opportunity to attend and hear Senator Bill Nelson speak further on this and here are some more highlights from part of his talk that he gave at Climate Reality in Miami.

Senator Bill Nelson
Photo: Senator Bill Nelson

“In 1998 Vice President Gore challenged NASA to create a satellite that would allow anyone to view Earth and its changing face through a continuous real-time image via the Internet. By sending a spacecraft to a point, it’s called the Lagrange point, its where the earth’s gravity stops and the suns gravity starts, that’s a million miles from earth. This spacecraft called Triana it would serve as a deep space observatory and it would give all of us a comets eye view of our planet. In 2000 when Triana was complete and it was ready to be launched but then in 2001 VP Chaney he took office and the administration put the 150 million dollar satellite on a shelf. Thankfully to the credit of NASA they took the long view and they stored the satellite so well that after revising it’s mission and adding instruments to measure space weather the newly named DSCOVR satellite launched in February this year. If you go to NASA’s website you can see almost real time refreshed every hour and a half. You can see a detailed view of the daylight side of the earth as it revolves about it axes and it goes through the seasons, you can even see the dark side of the moon. DSCOVR also provides scientist even more detailed information about the composition of the atmosphere and how it impacts us. DSCOVR has an instrument that will precisely measure the heat that is staying trapped in the atmosphere of the earth.

More about DSCOVR:

www.algore.com/project/the-deep-space-climate-observatory

www.nesdis.noaa.gov/DSCOVR/

Of course those who are willfully blind to what is happening, it’s going to be harder for them to deny.
There are those who ban terms like ‘climate change’ and ‘global warming’ and by the way that has been done here in the government in the state of Florida. In fact, some state and local government employees are told to say ‘nuisance’ flooding instead of sea level rise. Ladies and gentlemen climate change isn’t a nuisance it’s a threat.

We have a battle in the Senate. We have taken 11 different votes on climate change in this year alone. Votes are undermining the clean air act, denying the science, approving dirty fuels and each of these votes comes down to politics. So my friends elections matter and so does your voice, your passion, your action. Remember awhile ago I told you about King Coal and big oil deliberately mislead decision makers, well I got some good news, just this year some of the companies are beginning to sing a different tune. Six major oil companies including BP wrote a letter to the Secretary of the UN Convention on Climate Change urging a price on carbon at the Paris negotiations. Thirteen of the largest Fortune 500 companies Coca Cola, Walmart, Google..they signed the President’s climate pledge.

Pope Francis was trained as a scientist, he was trained as a chemist, he has a scientific understanding of how human activity is impacting our environment and he is galvanizing support for action on climate change. Pope Francis issued a note to all Catholics saying we have a moral imperative to ensure a healthy environment for future generations and he has made that appeal not just to Catholics but to all of us to take care of our sacred home.

We can’t let Miami be the new Atlantis. We certainly can’t do it without a fight. Then a confluence of events also on Friday, the Chinese President Xi made a landmark commitment to cap and price greenhouse gas emissions starting in 2017. Just the year before last, Chinese emissions topped 10 trillion tons of carbon dioxide. So for China to take this action is critical to our global efforts.

We should vigorously be pursuing low carbon renewable energy sources like solar as the boat solar campaign has reminded us, a huge solar energy spill is called a nice day.” – Senator Bill Nelson of Florida


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