Having strong objections to the notion that human activities are influencing climate change doesn’t alter the facts. A recent review of scientific opinion on the subject reveals that people need to limit their contribution to global warming by 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit. (“Climate Change: The new abolitions,” The Week, May 9, 2014, pg. 15.) Unfortunately the remedy is almost as painful as the consequences of a warming planet. To achieve that amount of change in requisite time we would have to persuade oil and gas companies to leave $10 – $20 trillion dollars worth of fossil fuels in the ground. (Ibid., pg. 15)
No industry of any size has ever, voluntarily, decided to close operations, unless one counts the end of slavery which was accomplished by war. What’s more, since fossil fuels produce 80% of the world’s energy, Tom Cavanaugh of the National Review asks, can we really run the modern world on windmills? (Ibid)
Changing the way we live isn’t as easy as championing the idea of change in abstract. To achieve immediate and dramatic reduction in the use of fossil fuels we must ask ourselves if we would we be willing to endure freezing winters and torrid summers with little or no heating or cooling systems? Can we live without meat, fruits and vegetables that are shipped to local stores by trains and trucks? And what about job losses? Are we prepared to see large scale unemployment in the affected industries until some other economy develops?
Given the way we like our comforts, the answer to these questions in probably no. So let’s admit we’re all polluters and start working together to develop a plan for the planet instead of looking for bad guys. The leadership isn’t going to come from Congress. We must be prepared to save ourselves, starting at the local level. Only when we begin to talk to each other will we have a chance to save our environment. Expending energy to blame others is the surest way to freeze in hell.
(Originally published 6/5/14)
(Courtesy of healthculturesociety.wikispaces.com)