Year 4, Month 6, Day 13: Don’t Just Do Something…DO SOMETHING!

The Louisville Courier-Journal runs an opinion column from Eugene Robinson, which originally appeared in the WaPo, if memory serves me well. It’s good stuff:

WASHINGTON — President Obama should spend his remaining years in office making the United States part of the solution to climate change, not part of the problem. If Congress sticks to its policy of obstruction and willful ignorance, Obama should use his executive powers to the fullest extent. We are out of time.

With each breath, every person alive today experiences something unique in human history: an atmosphere containing more than 400 parts per million of carbon dioxide. This makes us special, I suppose, but not in a good way.

The truth is that 400 is just one of those round-number milestones that can be useful for grabbing people’s attention. What’s really important is that atmospheric carbon dioxide has increased by a stunning 43 percent since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution.

The only plausible cause of this rapid rise, from the scientific viewpoint, is the burning of fossil fuels to fill the energy needs of industrialized society. The only logical impact, according to those same scientists, is climate change. The only remaining question — depending on what humankind does right now — is whether the change ends up being manageable or catastrophic.

Yup. May 31:

Eugene Robinson has it precisely right in his opinion column of May 27. If our culture is to successfully address such pressing issues as human rights, economic justice, and the complex phenomena of terrorism, we require certain simple fundamentals: a resilient infrastructure, clean air to breathe, unpolluted and uninterrupted water, and food sufficient to our needs. The climate crisis threatens all of these things.

From the threads of a relatively stable and benign environment the great tapestry of our species’ achievement has been woven. Let the warp and woof of human civilization begin to crumble and the images carried on that tapestry will vanish utterly, with unimaginable speed. A resilient and interdependent ecology, the product of many thousands of years of evolution, can be destroyed in a few seconds by the uncaring blade of a bulldozer; a runaway greenhouse effect will work the same destruction on a planetary scale.

Climate change is not just AN issue. It’s THE issue.

Warren Senders

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