Year 4, Month 7, Day 28: The Only Thing We Have To Fear

Here are the final grafs of an op-ed in the Roanoke Times (VA), titled “The Courage To Act on Climate Change.” Good stuff, if essentially rather anodyne:

As the president pointed out in his speech, there are also impacts of climate change that we must adapt to such as rebuilding homes and infrastructure in New Jersey and New York after Superstorm Sandy. We need to make plans to protect our own coast and infrastructure at Hampton Roads, which remains extremely vulnerable.

We have an obligation to aid our brothers and sisters in adapting to and developing resilience from the full spectrum of climate impacts, be it heat waves, looming wildfire risks or increased public health concerns such as mosquito- or tick-borne diseases.

This is not something one person can do alone — not even the president of the United States. This is something that takes each and every one of us. It starts with supporting the president’s climate plan and includes reducing our own carbon footprint. It includes encouraging our legislators to support these important regulations from the EPA and confirming McCarthy as EPA head.

We can — and we must — create a future in which our children and grandchildren will look back at this time in history and say, “They made the right choice for my future.”

While this piece is written with allusions to “faith” I chose instead to focus on the glib rhetorical trope that provides the header. July 10:

If a hurricane is coming, battening down the hatches is pure common sense. If there’s a tornado watch, it’s just plain reasonable to get into the basement with our families. In times of drought, we’ll let our lawns yellow and take shorter showers in order to conserve water. None of these acts are anything more than sensible preparations for extraordinary circumstances. Why, then, are we so often exhorted to find “the courage to act” on climate change?

Preparing for a climatically-transformed future should be a no-brainer. Reinforcing and rebuilding our infrastructure, planning ahead for the safety of communities likely to be in harm’s way, and introducing reasonable conservation measures for increasingly scarce resources don’t require us to find hidden reserves of strength and fortitude, only to pay attention to the facts and plan accordingly.

Courage is only necessary to face the corporate-funded denialists in media and politics who use their vast resources to obscure the scientific evidence of climate change and irresponsibly attack those who recognize the severity of the crisis.

Warren Senders

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