In the 1970s and 1980s, Republicans, Democrats and even Exxon agreed that the world needed to cut greenhouse gas pollution and that America needed to take the lead. And then they didn’t. What does it mean for today’s fight to save America’s climate?
Installing more solar power is one of the best things anybody can do to save the world’s climate and America’s future.
But we need to install more solar panels much faster, and do a bunch of other things too like stop cutting down rainforests, to cut pollution enough to slow and ultimately stop dangerous climate change.
Do human psychology and politics doom our species to tragic inaction in the face of catastrophic climate change that’s destroying our future?
This epic article in the New York Times Magazine, “Losing Earth: The Decade We Almost Stopped Climate Change” by Nathaniel Rich, argues that past leaders have not been able to act effectively against climate change because suffering some economic and political pain now seems worse than potentially avoiding much worse pain later.
Will young people be any different? Rich thinks so:
Like most human questions, the carbon-dioxide question will come down to fear. At some point, the fears of young people will overwhelm the fears of the old. Some time after that, the young will amass enough power to act. It will be too late to avoid some catastrophes, but perhaps not others. Humankind is nothing if not optimistic, even to the point of blindness. We are also an adaptable species. That will help.
You MUST read this article. It’s long but worth it. And then I hope you will be inspired to do whatever you can to fight climate change. And that doesn’t mean making little changes in your personal life like doing more recycling. That’s practically worthless — except to assuage a little guilt.
Effectively fighting climate change means getting involved in politics and demanding a national solution that will move America from biggest villain to biggest hero. Isn’t that where our country deserves to be?
— Erik Curren, The Solar Patriot