Year 3, Month 10, Day 4: Zing! Went The Strings Of My Heart!

I really like it when very old people start speaking out. Read the entire article by 88 year-old Tom Bell, in the High Country News (CO):

When World War II was thrust on us, we turned our economic system into a war machine as every American agreed to sacrifice in order to defeat Nazi Germany and its allies. That is the model for what it will take to overcome what now threatens our planet.

Hitler and Tojo and Mussolini, however, were human beings with faces, while carbon dioxide is invisible and yet a part of our everyday environment. How can you overcome something you can’t see?

ABC journalist Bill Blakemore thinks one of the reasons Americans don’t — or can’t — accept the threat of climate change is because of the “unprecedented scale and complexity of the crisis of manmade global warming.” And he adds, “It’s new, and therefore unknown, at first. And we’re naturally frightened of the unknown.”

Yet Rob Watson, an environmentalist, likes to say: “Mother Nature is just chemistry, biology and physics. That’s all she is. You cannot sweet-talk her. You cannot spin her. … Do not mess with Mother Nature. But that is just what we are doing.”

You only need a lick of sense to see that something is terribly wrong. Devastating events, attributable to climate change, are destroying people’s livelihoods and taking lives all around the world. Climate scientists tell us it is only going to get worse unless and until we do something about carbon.

To do something about carbon means reducing our dependence on coal and oil, and here in Wyoming, even talking about it is heresy. But we must begin to talk about it before it is too late, and then we must act.

What can we do? Jim Rogers, CEO of Duke Energy-Progress Energy, the largest electric utility in the United States, said this September: “I believe eventually there will be regulation of carbon in this country.” James Hansen, one of the world’s leading climate scientists, agrees. In fact, everyone concerned about climate change believes a carbon tax has advantages over every other approach. Still, every single carbon-tax bill introduced in Congress has failed.

I believe it is past time for all of us — and especially those of us who live in Wyoming, where so much carbon is produced — to face the hard truth. We don’t have a choice: We have to face this crisis as if we were at war, because, unfortunately, that is the bitter truth. We are in a fight for our very survival – and for the survival of the whole planet.

I salute you, Mr. Bell. Sent September 28:

When we think about our children, and their children in turn, it’s natural to foresee them living in a world just like our own — growing up amidst the beauty, and the bounty, of nature. And why not? For thousands of years the essential benevolence of Earth’s environment has nurtured our fathers and their fathers before them, helping the growth of our rich and complex civilization. It’s impossible to imagine the future otherwise.

But global warming is transforming this equation. To those who understand its implications, the research of climatologists indicates that our descendants will no longer be able to take the future for granted. Droughts, extreme weather, radically altered growing seasons, decimated biodiversity and ravaged agriculture are some of the things our generation will bequeath to posterity.

Politicians like to invoke future generations in their stump speeches. But unless our leaders address climate change responsibly, we ensure that our children, and their children in turn, will lead lives of struggle, privation and devastation. There can be no excuse for inaction, complacency, or denial.

Warren Senders

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