Year 3, Month 9, Day 20: Ha Ha! Your Side Of The Lifeboat Has A Leak!

The Tallahassee Democrat’s Ray Bellamy has a good column about the need for action:

OK, so let’s say you have joined the majority of Americans who get that climate change is occurring now exactly as scientists predicted decades ago. And you sense that it is going to get worse, threatening our lifestyle and prosperity forever.

You realize that our addiction to wasteful consumption is beginning to bite us and that the implications for future generations are dire. That “clean coal” is anything but and that the increasingly desperate and expensive methods for extracting fossil fuels are taking their toll. As one observer wrote, “The consequences of global warming can only be mitigated by keeping fossil fuels in the ground and out of the air.”

So, what to do?

Hand-wringing is not very useful. There are many lifestyle changes we must make collectively to reduce the damage and be fair to our progeny. But the major move would be to require our politicians to act in our interest, rather than the interest of corporate energy. We probably have passed peak oil production, yet our thirst for fossil fuels keeps rising with population growth, so the price will increase accordingly. Clean alternative fuels such as solar, wind and geothermal will dramatically reduce costs.

I’m still wringing my hands a lot, but at least I write these damn letters every day. Sent September 13:

Meaningful responses to climate change need to happen on multiple levels if we humans are to survive and prosper in the coming centuries of a post-greenhouse-effect Earth. We have two adversaries: on one hand, the metastasizing greenhouse effect, and on the other, the corporations which would bequeath a barren future to our posterity in exchange for a few extra pennies on the dollar today.

We must act in the short term, cutting our wasteful consumption of fossil fuels — and we must act in the long term, planting trees now to absorb CO2 in the future. We must act individually, educating ourselves and our fellow citizens about the crisis — and we must act collectively, reconfiguring our society’s relationship with the planetary systems upon which it depends. We must act locally, preparing our towns, cities and regions to cope with the demands of extreme weather and crumbling infrastructure — and we must act globally, recognizing that the problem affects not just us and our neighbors, but all humanity, and indeed all life.

Warren Senders

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