“It now contains 400 parts per million, and we must get it down to 350 if we want the climate to remain comfortable,” he said.
The “Beyond Coal” campaign strives to retire a third of the nation’s more than 500 coal plants by 2020 and replace the majority of them with clean energy solutions like wind, solar and geothermal.
The effort to reduce reliance on fossil fuels, which many believe to be the largest contributor to climate change, has produced results in Oklahoma. Instead of investing in infrastructure for aging coal plants, some utilities are opting to phase them out and replace them with cleaner energy sources.
“A transition to clean energy is a sensible solution that will spur innovation, create more jobs, strengthen our economy and secure safer, healthier communities,” said Whitney Pearson, Sierra Club organizer.
Speakers representing organizations at the Capitol on Tuesday included The Peace House, Sierra Club, Citizens Climate Lobby and Great Plains Tar Sands Resistance.
“The science is clear and irrefutable. Climate disruption is acknowledged by 97 percent of the world’s climate scientists, who agree that human activity is the primary driver,” said Nathaniel Batchelder, with The Peace House. “We have solutions available to address climate change. Many of us are already working to implement the solutions we need, and we invite our state leaders to get on board or get left behind.”
While Tuesday was national Earth Day, Norman will celebrate Earth Day and Arbor Day on Sunday with special activities at Reaves Park from noon to 5 p.m.
Government, nonprofit and private organizations will provide free, hands-on activities, demonstrations and exhibits celebrating Earth’s natural resources and a healthy community.
Children are encouraged to bring their bikes to Reaves Park for the bike rodeo.
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