As “Frankenstorm” bears down on the East Coast this week, we should be reminded of the absurdity that the single greatest issue of our time—human-caused climate change—is not included in the national conversation in a meaningful way.
What was or wasn’t said about Benghazi, what Todd Akin thinks about the female sexual reproduction system and which “team” comes away with the most wins in the 2012 elections will not matter in the decades ahead.
What does matter is what actions we take, or do not take, to mitigate and adapt to a climate that is deteriorating right in front of us—during our watch.
In the decades ahead, our children could be forgiven for asking us why we were not even discussing such a clear and present threat to their future.
Dad, why did your generation ignore the consensus among climate scientists and the clear warnings of the National Academy of Science?
Well, son, this guy on the radio said it was all a great hoax by Al Gore and the Liberals who wanted to raise our taxes and create more “big govt”!
OK, Dad, I understand that some people disagreed, but what about the record droughts, heat waves and storms? I know these are all much worse now, but back in 2012, that was still really bad weather for the time!
Come on, son, you don’t understand what we were dealing with back in 2012. We had to save traditional marriage from the gays! The billionaires needed more tax breaks! We had to defund the EPA! Dealing with the climate system on which all human life depends just wasn’t a priority!
Frankly, the refusal to even discuss climate change is so absurd; that I think must be in some type of collective state of denial.
We need to stop the insanity of denial. We need to stop ignoring the vast and overwhelming evidence simply because we do not like what it says. We need to turn off the ignorant, ill-informed and ideological demagogues on the radio. They are lying about the greatest threat our children will face.
Despite the reality about what we need to do, our leaders aren’t stepping up to solve the problem. It’s not an accident that deniers have spent unprecedented amounts of money to mislead and confuse us about the severity of the climate crisis.
The politicians have failed. All of them. The traditional media has failed as well. Which means it's up to us.
We need to face the cold, hard truths of reality - Now.
This means that we need to start having honest conversations:
- We need a global conversation about the climate crisis.
- We need to talk about how we are going to create solutions.
- We need to discuss how we are going to get ready for the increasingly dangerous rounds of heat, drought and “Frankenstorms” that we will be face in the years ahead.
After we talk, we need to act.
We can address the climate problem, if we educate ourselves and act upon our knowledge - Today.
Informed conversations start with knowledgeable participants. Fortunately, there is a wealth of opportunities to become climate informed:
Here are some recommendations:
Watch “Climate of Doubt” on PBS: This program is about the efforts by oil companies and certain “Free Market” think tanks to create doubt about the climate change issue. It is currently showing on PBS or online. For details on the program, and a schedule of showings, see the link below: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/environment/climate-of-doubt/press-release-19/
You also can read my short blog post called “Profit by Deception” that was published to the Eureka-Wildwood Patch earlier this week: http://eureka-wildwood.patch.com/blog_posts/profit-by-deception
Thursday, Nov. 1. (7 p.m.): Bill McKibben of 350.org will be presenting “350: The Most Important Number in the World” at Washington Universities Graham Chapel. This is expected this to be a very full event so I recommend getting there 45-60 minutes early if you want a seat. I’ll be there.
Thursday, Nov. 14: Watch “24 Hours of Reality: The Dirty Weather Report”. This is an on-line program by the Climate Reality Project that creates the link between the severe weather and fossil fuels. Go to http://www.climaterealityproject.org/ for details.
Thursday, Dec. 6 (7 p.m.): Myself and some colleagues will be presenting “Climate Reality” to the St. Louis Ethical Society. We will include plenty of time for questions and a good discussion on what we can do as a community to come together to solve the climate crisis http://www.ethicalstl.org/currentNews.pdf
Finally, if you are interested in some reading, I have an ongoing blog series on climate change that I publish to the Patch. The latest post is below and it contains a link to the other posts as well. I plan on continuing to post Climate Change related blogs to the Patch.