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We have the data on climate change--but can it spur action?

In a dramatic break with recent policy, the Environmental Protection Agency has just formally announced plans to regulate climate changing pollution under the Clean Air Act, declaring clear evidence that greenhouse gases "threaten the public health and welfare of the American people." President Obama has pledged to attend the second week of the COP15 climate change talks in Copenhagen; which is widely viewed as a positive indication of an international agreement to take significant steps in curbing greenhouse gasses. The EPA has indicated a willingness to let Congress take the reins, but with Congressional Republicans and business interests having already said they will fight any new legislation, this latest ruling from the EPA illustrates the federal government's intention to take the steps necessary to move forward. In The Climate Solutions Consensus, David Blockstein and Leo Weigman present an agenda for the United States. It incorporates specific recommendations by the nation's leading scientists, offering solutions that don't need to wait for new laws. From changing our eating and consumption habits to land use and education, the book addresses controversial topics head-on and provides a clear-cut path to reversing the driving factors behind climate change. Some industries are getting ahead of the game. People on the front lines of the energy revolution are ready to create the world's most powerful solar energy systems and most sophisticated hybrid cars to save the planet. Apollo's Fire: Igniting America's Clean Energy Economy, written by Representative Jay Inslee and Bracken Hendricks, not only introduces the pioneers behind these innovations but it also presents a pathway towards energy independence and a cleaner future. A clean energy future doesn't have to break the bank. Climate 2030, published by The Union of Concerned Scientists, shows that meeting strict emissions cap regulations is not only feasible, it can be done cost-effectively. Within a timeframe of 2030, the book's authors visualize a set of smart environmental policies that save consumers and businesses money on their energy bills, while also keeping the economy moving forward. These are important first steps, and ones that Island Press authors have been advocating for decades. We urge you to learn more about the climate change debate and follow our updates on the COP15 conference. This post was originally sent to our email subscribers. Sign up for the next one!