Friday, September 26, 2014

Stop climate blah, blah, blah and do something

Climate change seems like an ever-repeating tale with no end in sight. Fossil fuels, renewables, fracking, energy independence, drought and floods, experimental technology and promising companies that crash and burn—it all seems like the same old blah, blah, blah.
    But maybe not.
    Last week, two events highlighted the conflicted nature of U.S. opinions about this issue. The first event was a same-old, same-old hearing of the Congressional Committee on Science, Space and Technology. Presidential Science Advisor John Holdren tried, again, to school science deniers on climate change’s drastic impacts. As always, he was on a fool’s errand.
    Indiana Rep. Larry Bucshon typifies the mindsets of those who have no problem publically denying that facts are facts and that science is real. They don’t want to be inconvenienced. Mostly they don’t want to oppose energy companies who are their major donors.
    Bucshon is a majority member of the U.S. House of Representatives’ Committee on Science, Space, and Technology. Bucshon admitted he gets his information from public comments. He just doesn’t believe scientists, he said, because they make a living doing science. He told Dr. Holdren that those on the climate change side of the argument should just quit scaring people. The scientific data about climate change, after all, has some pretty scary implications for life here on Earth.
    The second event, last Sunday’s Climate March in cities around the country, seems like blah, blah, blah. What can really be accomplished by hundreds of thousands of people parading in the streets, tying up traffic and missing Sunday football games?
    This is climate week in New York City. United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon asked world leaders to come to Climate Summit 2014 with ideas for making significant progress to address the realities of climate change. He is shooting for a meaningful legal agreement among the world’s nations by the end of 2015. And despite the same-old resistance by special interests, the marches, the hearings and the U.N. actions represent a true tipping point in efforts to meet the threats of climate change.
    The Earth’s climate is changing rapidly. A growing number of technologies are becoming available in response. Green is economically viable.
    It is time to stop falling for the nonsensical meanderings of deniers, to stop believing it’s too hard or expensive to change. It’s time to get on board with conservation, re-use, and renewal of the planet that sustains us.

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