I wish there were about 100 more Bill McKibbens (scroll). This post is a good introduction to him if you don’t know who he is: Maher VIDEO: Hey climate change deniers: “What are we gonna develop that replaces Iowa?” Oceans, marine life, seafood industry now at risk. So are the many videos at the McKibben link above, all illustrating his excellent arguments for immediate, effective action on the climate change crisis.
Today he had an op-ed in the L.A. Times that I urge everyone to read in full. He makes the point that there is no time to waste and reminds us of the urgency of this worrisome global issue. Unlike some issues like gay rights and women’s rights for which change takes time while public opinion evolves, he writes, the threats of climate change wait for nobody. It’s not a matter of conflicting opinions, it’s “a fight between human beings and physics… The less you do, the worse it gets.”
He’s so right, it only gets worse, and that’s why doing so little about it is so unnerving, especially considering Congress’s track record of doing nothing until we teeter on crisis after crisis, doing nothing at all, or starting to do something but at a snail’s pace. And don’t get me started on climate change deniers.
McKibben explains that had we postponed health care reform, it would have been no picnic, but once we were finally to get around to it, the problem “would be about the same size.” But with climate change, if we don’t act now, it won’t wait around for us, it will turn into a growing disaster of immense proportions chugging along on its own time table.
Meantime, he goes on to say, President Obama still encourages fossil fuel development, an “all of the above” approach to energy. He supports conservation and clean energy, too, but continues to be hampered by Congress, or himself, when it comes to projects like the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline or drilling in the Arctic.
We can’t let this become a matter of too little too late. The life of the planet is at stake:
The president must be pressed to do all he can — and more. But there’s another possibility we need to consider: Perhaps he’s simply not up to this task, and we’re going to have to do it for him, as best we can.
Those of us in the growing grass-roots climate movement are moving as fast and hard as we know how (though not, I fear, as fast as physics demands). Thousands of us will descend on Washington on Presidents Day weekend for the largest environmental demonstration in years. And young people from 190 nations will gather in Istanbul, Turkey, in June in an effort to shame the United Nations into action.
We also need you. Maybe if we move fast enough, even this all-too-patient president will get caught up in the draft. But we’re not waiting for him. We can’t.