Year 2, Month 1, Day 22: Good.

Presidents Obama & Hu agree that climate change is a big deal, and that it’s a good idea to do something about it.

Presidents Barack Obama and Hu Jintao of China, who is in Washington on an official state visit, said in a joint statement this afternoon that they “view climate change and energy security as two of the greatest challenges of our time.” In an open letter today, U.S. environmental leaders urged the presidents to adopt “a wartime-like mobilization” to cut greenhouse gas emissions.

Haven’t written to POTUS for a while, so what the hell.

Dear President Obama — I was pleased to hear that your summit conference with President Hu of China dealt with the issue of climate change, which is without doubt the most pressing global security issue humanity has ever faced. The rapid acceleration of worldwide climate chaos has already wreaked havoc on millions of lives, and the coming decades will not see things calming down.

Rather, the weather’s only going to get worse. Predictions made by climate scientists a few years ago have now been shown to grossly underestimate both the magnitude of the world’s transformation and the speed with which it is occurring.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, the United States (due largely but not entirely to Republican intransigence) has completely dropped the ball on clean energy research and development — and the ball is in China’s court. We’re not going to eliminate the advantages the Chinese now have in the creation of new and critical technologies; they’ve got a substantial head start, while we remain mired in the political quicksand that is GOP grandstanding.

It is imperative that the USA and China arrive at a robust and meaningful agreement on greenhouse gas emissions. The climatic changes we’re all going through are either going to trigger a new era of international cooperation against a common enemy — or they’re going to bring about a rapid and catastrophic deterioration of civilizational infrastructure. If we as a species are to survive the next millennium, we must have enlightened and forward-looking leadership that is capable of tackling this gravest of all challenges without faltering or capitulation to the political agendas of the ignorant and inattentive.

Congratulations to you and President Hu. Now the really hard work begins. Both countries must make deep cuts in carbon emissions, but the United States’ per capita rates are far higher than anywhere else in the world. If we don’t change our way of life voluntarily, it will be changed for us by terrifying force of circumstance.

We must rise to this challenge.

Yours Sincerely,

Warren Senders

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