As we read that average global temperatures have already increased 1.1 degree and that a 1.5 degree increase is now unavoidable, and as we watch deadly fires and floods and heatwaves on the news, some of us think, “Who’s going to reverse this disastrous climate trend and start us on the road to recovering our future?”

Should the federal or local government mandate the “immediate and sustained emissions cuts” recommended in the recent IPCC report? Should China be lowering its emissions 50 percent by 2030? Should Exxon-Mobil or Royal Dutch Shell stop fracking and producing fossil fuels? Should Brazil quit allowing destruction of the “lungs of the planet” in the Amazon forest?

Obviously we can’t wait for others to lead. This huge problem facing the world population requires action by all of us. Every one of us, every elected leader and every citizen has to figure out how to reduce their carbon emissions at least 50 percent in less than nine years. Our leaders can help by setting personal examples and by incentivizing our needed changes, but all of us must change, and change rapidly, if we are to preserve a livable future.

The recent climate emergency working group report and city/county climate action plans give us numerous guidelines. However, it seems that the most rapid reductions can only be achieved by changing our energy sources and our modes of transportation. Changing farming methods, planting forests, adopting plant-based diets, even electing climate champions, are all helpful, but if we don’t quit pumping out pollution from our vehicles and buying our electricity from fossil fuel powered sources, there will not be enough rapid change to save us.

Bottom line: All of us must act now, must change our ways. We’ve done it during the pandemic and we can do it for a livable climate.

Kathleen Rall

Jefferson

(5) comments

Blueline

One thing never mentioned is the earth's population: 2 Billion in 1921, 8 Billion in 2021. Even with fossil fuels, etc., it has to be a major strain on the eco system.

MD1756

I mention it all the time and many that read the comments get upset that I keep pointing human population growth is responsible for many major adverse impacts. Mike says we need to political will to deploy clean energy technology. I've repeatedly stated that maybe one solution is to require people to reduce their own carbon footprint before creating more by having children. It's easy to do if one installs solar and geothermal and drive a plugin hybrid. Right now the last time I bought gasoline for my car was July 6th, and I still have 1/2 a tank left. In the 60s and maybe 70s we were ignorant about climate change. That's certainly not true anymore, yet our politicians promote population growth and climate change and inequity by increasing the amount of money people are given for choosing to have children.

mikekoob

Yes! Thanks Kathleen Rall for this letter. This book's title captures it: What We’re Fighting for Now is Each Other: Dispatches from the front lines of Climate Justice, Wen Stephenson; 2015.

The engineers have solved the problem of clean renewable energy in the form of wind, water, and solar. We need the political will to deploy them and defeat the forces who want to perpetuate the status quo for greed and profit. We need elected officials to streamline the roll out of clean renewable power.

threecents

Mike, Sorry, but it appears that there is a political party known as the GOP whose mission is to promote only fossil fuels and to deny that climate change is man-made, no matter what climate scientists conclude.

MD1756

If they thought about it more, all that green energy stuff should match their principles (making profits for oneself) but they're not able to make the connection for some reason or they've made the connection but stay loyal to big fossil fuel energy companies. After all, what could be better than using the resources on one's own property to produce green energy and be mostly independent from fossil fuels? I've gone down to about net zero for my home energy use by installing solar and geothermal and I also have a plugin hybrid if I ever do generate more energy than I use for the house.

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