Are carbon taxes in our future? Are “carbon riots” in our future? A 100% increase in gasoline price (by removal of subsidies) caused rioting this month in Ecuador, sufficient to force the national government to leave Quito for the coastal city of Guayaquil. Imagine a carbon tax in the U.S. high enough to change emissions behavior, causing riots in our cities, forcing the national government leaders to relocate to Mar-A-Lago.
The great climate walkout was September 20th, last Friday. What’s next? The UN conference this week, then? Do we wait 18 months for the next presidential inauguration, then many months more before new legislation makes its laborious way through our Congress?
Activists are urging mobilizations “equivalent to war” to combat climate change. But is that the right metaphor and call to action? Wars begin and end, usually within a half-decade. The fight to reverse climate change will likely take decades. Are we ready for the sustained commitment to that effort? Can a political system based on two-year and four-year cycles accommodate activities that will take generations to be successful?
Seniors should support the weeklong global walkout student strike for climate action beginning September 20th, #climatestrike, by attending local events. Millions of students, workers, seniors and ordinary people like you and me worldwide will walk out of their schools, leave their jobs and homes, to urge political leaders everywhere to act now, to begin planning and implementing the transition to an energy system based on electricity derived mainly from renewable energy and not combustion of fossil fuels.
Every candidate on the Democratic side is trying to outdo the other with trillions of dollars to address climate change. At this point in the process, this is all funny money, with no grounding in reality. Will climate spending create more jobs? We’ve been hearing about “green jobs” for the past 15 years, but I’ve yet to see good documentation that these jobs wouldn’t have happened anyway, during the transition to a renewable energy economy.
Amazon rainforest, often called the “lungs of the earth,” for its ability to sequester CO2 from the atmosphere, has seen fire activity almost double this year from 2018. Massive deforestation followed by fires set to clear the land and encourage grass to grow for future cattle grazing, show the image of poor land management by Brazil’s governments. What should be done?
We’re going to write the obituaries of many 20th century glaciers before 2050, as they disappear from warming temperatures. The OK glacier in Iceland is just the latest, disappearing over the last 30 years, leaving nothing behind but a lake. This week, Iceland unveiled a plaque for future generations to see. It’s worth reading and a real punch to the gut!
Global Warming: Who’s to Blame? Maybe it’s all of us? Or only the oil, gas and coal companies? Based on the dozens if not hundreds of lawsuits that have been filed by state’s attorney generals, citizens, young people and other aggrieved or merely greedy parties, you’d think it’s ONLY the purveyors of fossil fuels. See if you can find your point of view in this week’s blog.
For real action on climate change, we need today’s students to step up in a big way. My favorite quote of late is from a teenage coordinator of Extinction Rebellion, Sophie Anderson. “It’s not our job as high-schoolers to come up with solutions to climate change. We’re not the ones with the answers. We just want people to take action.” Today’s mid-teenagers will likely be alive and retired in 2075. There’s no question that they will be living in a world hotter, more disease-ridden, and more dangerous than we live in today. Would you blame them for being really, really angry at that prospect?
Do we need a moonshot to deal with the climate crisis? Here we all were, celebrating last weekend the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing. Along with 600 million other people, I watched it live on TV in July of 1969. Yup, folks, “we” did it! From takeoff of the moon program (when President Kennedy set out the goal), to successful landing (and return) of two men took less than seven years. Why can’t we do the same with decarbonizing the U.S. (and world) economy?