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Fiddling in Bonn while the Gulf oil spills

It almost seems like there is a firewall between the urgency of the disaster in the Gulf of Mexico and the pace of the climate treaty negotiations underway in Bonn, Germany this week.

The two are very much intertwined.

A fair, legally binding and ambitious international climate treaty will have the long-term effect of reducing the chances of a major oil spill disaster like what we are witnessing in the Gulf by significantly reducing the need to drill for oil in the first place. Such a treaty would see the world move quickly to alternative ways of producing power, like wind, solar and geothermal, that do not use oil and other dirty fuels like oil, coal and nuclear.

After all, when is the last time you heard of a major "wind spill" from an offshore wind farm? Even if there was such a thing the worst you would get is a heavier than usual ocean breeze.

In response to the Gulf disaster, US President Obama announced earlier this week that he would urge Congress to end taxpayer subsidies to oil companies (estimated at around $35 billion annually) and put in place measures that will rapidly increase investments – both private and public – in renewable energy. The President stated that this transition to clean energy must happen quickly because,

"the next generation will not be held hostage to energy sources from the last century."

Whether it is climate change or oil spills, the solution is the same and the urgency of the situation must be conveyed to our political leaders. The major ingredient that has been missing in the climate negotiations for quite some time now is political will. Our political leaders have said that reducing the worldwide use of fossil fuels is a priority, but so far their urgent words have not been turned into urgent action.

If 20,000 barrels of crude oil pumping uncontrollably into the pristine waters of the Gulf of Mexico is not enough to convince political leaders that an international effort to transition to clean energy sources is absolutely necessary, then I don’t know what is.

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Kevin Grandia

Kevin Grandia

As the DeSmogBlog's Operations Manager, Kevin oversees the six-person team of contributors, orchestrates large-scale research campaigns, and manages the blog’s timely and thought-provoking content. Kevin is also responsible for the successful Canadian and U.S. media and blogger relations campaigns that have garnered the DeSmogBlog coverage in major media outlets.

Kevin is also a regular contributor on Huffington Post and other media outlets such as the Guardian Online.

Kevin has nine years of experience in communications with the last three spent entirely in the area of new media. Kevin is also the Director of New Media at the Vancouver Public Relations company, Hoggan & Associates and is well-known for his expertise in the areas of social media marketing, online communications, blogging, search engine optimization.

Kevin is the co-founder of a national online project called Vote For Environment ( that has been nominated for a World Summit Award, an international award in recognizing the world's best e-Content and innovative ICT applications.

Prior to DeSmogBlog, Kevin served as a communications advisor in the areas of health care, Canadian heritage and Asia-Pacific trade. Kevin’s areas of expertise also include government relations, crisis communications, event planning and media relations.

Kevin Grandia has been trained by Al Gore as part of The Climate Project, an initiative designed to educate the public about climate change.