Let’s make a deal about climate change
Twelve short years, the best minds in science are telling us, is how much time we have to COMPLETE our transition away from fossil fuels (IPCC interim Report). Not much time when you consider the Sept. 11 attacks were 17 years ago, and the Kyoto protocol on climate change was signed by more than 190 United Nations member states 22 years ago.
I have been told that insulting and offending people (something that I apparently have a natural talent for) is not the best way to gain support or encourage changes in attitudes and outlooks. So, I am going to try something different to win people over.
How about a challenge?
If you are not fully convinced of the potential for societal destabilization, mass extinctions, economic and environmental meltdown and human misery posed by our continued aggressive burning of fossil fuels, AND you want to know why I am, please read on.
You likely know that President Donald Trump has done much to downplay climate change concerns; going so far as to suggest that global warming is a “Chinese hoax.”
In April 2018 Trump appointed a fellow climate change denier to head up the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). Jim Bridenstine, to his credit must have approached his new job with an open mind, because after being exposed to modern climate science and being surrounded by scientists he was a changed man. In May of 2018, only one month after assuming the role, he publicly stated the following. “Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas. We’re putting it into the atmosphere in volumes that we haven’t seen, and that greenhouse gas is warming the planet. That is absolutely happening, and we are responsible for it.”
So here is the challenge I propose: go to the NASA website and find their climate change page (or Google NASA climate change). Read their facts, check their references, browse the frequently asked questions, some of which may mirror your own questions. And know that they are not beholden to anyone except a climate change skeptical federal government, controlled until recently by a majority of Republicans who tend to oppose action on climate change.
Of course, there are some prominent individuals and organizations in the denial camp, so I would suggest reading a Wikipedia summary on any of those to check their credibility and funding sources, and follow it up with a read of their profile in the online Desmog blog data base (desmogblog.com).
If you have done your homework and you still feel that it is in your best interest (or more importantly in the best interest of your children, grandchildren or great grandchildren) to sit back with engines idling and see what the next 12 or 20 years brings, I would love for you to share your reasoning with me.
You see, I was also once very skeptical of climate change, and I continue to be a generally skeptical individual. My father once told me, “Believe none of what you hear and only half of what you see”, and I can say with certainty that like Jim Bridenstine at NASA, I have seen enough to be convinced.
If you would like a civil discussion and/or would like to know more, I would be happy to chat. If you are convinced and want to engage and help push towards a sustainable future, I would love to share opportunities: firstname.lastname@example.org, 250-743-4747.
If you just don’t care, and/or don’t care to know; fair enough, you sure don’t owe me anything, and I sure can’t speak for what you might owe to your own children or grandchildren. But I hope that for most people, sustainability now and for future generations is worth the time to learn about, and worth the investment of energy and money to fight for. After all, there really is only one long term option to living sustainably on this planet; and I don’t think finding another planet is it.
Sustainability activist and Grandfather