For Immediate Release: Friday, March 20, 2007
In Institute’s 20th Year, Investment and Political Will Are Key
(OAKLAND, Calif.) From inner-city stoops to Fortune 500 board rooms, individuals everywhere are making daily progress tackling environmental problems. That is the central message as the Pacific Institute – an Oakland-based think-tank working on threats to environmental, economic, and social sustainability – celebrates Earth Day in 2007.
The challenges are all around us: trucks, trains, ships, and airplanes pollute some of our most vulnerable communities in the process of delivering foreign imports; wasteful water use impedes our ability to meet water needs; short-term profit motives compete with long-term economic and environmental sustainability; and climate change exacerbates all of these problems.
But 20 years of interdisciplinary analysis has shown the Pacific Institute that solutions abound. The Institute finds that there is plenty of money in our freight transport network to support growing trade and cut air pollution, so that communities are no longer subsidizing imported DVD players, sneakers, and other goods with their health. Soft path solutions to water, such as improving the efficiency of our water-using appliances, can secure fresh water supplies for decades without the extreme costs and degradation of new dams and reservoirs. Leading corporations have proven that they can work with NGOs to develop meaningful social and environmental standards. And while there is no silver bullet to halting greenhouse gas emissions and reversing global warming, investment in clean energy and energy conservation together can greatly reduce emissions and improve energy independence.
If one thing has changed since the first Earth Day, it is that individuals – whether they belong to a neighborhood watch or a multinational corporation – have more power to effect change. The Pacific Institute calls on our neighbors, our CEOs, and our elected officials to invest time, energy, and resources in science and solutions that promote sustainability. However, developing solutions is not enough. We thus call on our leaders to have the will to implement solutions that are here today and that are being developed for tomorrow.
In 2007, the Pacific Institute for Studies in Development, Environment, and Security celebrates twenty years of providing research for people and the planet. Founded in 1987, the Institute provides independent research and policy analysis on issues at the intersection of protecting the natural world, encouraging sustainable development, and improving global security.