I separated the eggs last night for the eggnog. The pie crust for the pumpkin pies is ready to be rolled. The fireworks have been bought and await us at friends Jenny and Alan’s house in Muidenberg, and Clan Fitzgerald is getting ready to head out the door for New Years.
Me, I’ll be thinking about absent friends in the distant South aboard the Esperanza, scanning the horizon for whalers (check out their lovely pan-lingual Happy New Years greetings), and reflecting on the year that was.
2007 was the year in which the climate skeptics finally got beaten back, a decade after the Kyoto Protocol was signed. It was the year that the idea of the simplest of energy efficiency measures, the banning the incandescent lightbulb came of age, with Ireland taking the lead to get rid of it by 2009. It was the year we heard the leader of an EU country say that every decision his government makes from now on will be made in light of its impact on the climate. It was the year that 600 people stripped naked on a glacier in an artisitic demonstration of human and planetary vulnerability.
It was the year that the world failed once again to stop the decimation of fisheries around the world, and the year I became convinced my kids kids will think of tuna the way we think of caviar.
In 2007, Russia began the grab for the oil beneath the Arctic, kicking off what may turn into the biggest global territorial dispute since World War I. We’ll see more nations grapple to claim more and more undersea resources in the coming two years, as the Law of the Sea marches toward new and still ambiguous laws about who owns what beneath the waves.
It was a good year for whales, with Iceland ending their commercial hunt, Japan backing off on their humpback quota, and the International Whaling Commission restored to a majority of conservation votes.
Apple Computers bowed to Greenpeace pressure and pledged to remove the most dangerous chemicals from its production line, in a victory for the campaign against Electronic Waste. Our Green my Apple website won a webby and accolades as a new brand of Web2.0 Activism.
The lungs of the world got a much-needed reprieve when a campaign we launched against Amazon-destroying soy plantations turned McDonalds from a zero into a hero — negotiating a moratorium on new soy plantings with fellow soy buyers which has stopped one particulary fast and heinous form of deforestation.
If 2007 was the year the world woke up to the need for action on climate change, 2008 has to be the year it leaps out of bed, downs a pot of black coffee, and heads out the door running to do something about it. This is the year I turn 50, and there’s a particular personal poignancy to the message that we have about 10 years — or more compellingly stated, about 100 months — to turn the fossil fuel economy around and start pushing CO2 levels down.
So a Happy New Year to all — let’s make it an activist year to remember.