Scientific evidence that climate change is real and raising havoc with our collective lives has been steadily mounting. This is all the more clear given recent reports emanating from many quarters,
including the International Panel on Climate Change,
the National Climate Assessment, and
But if we read our local newspaper or listen to newscasts we find a vacuum of serious discussion about anything we might do to mitigate this global disaster or adapt to challenges facing the human family. There is nothing visible in the Michigan legislature or executive branch showing any real leadership on the issue. What is going on in local city or county government is a mystery.
From my vantage point I see no local or state official who sees this worthy of their time. Perhaps the problem is the human inability to fathom the impacts of parts-per-billion or with projections longer than daily stock reports. Perhaps the size and complexity of the threat has so many in positions of leadership frozen in their tracks. Perhaps we have a predisposition to look for a silver bullet, usually one that has a technological sheen to it, that we’re waiting to arrive gift-wrapped on our doorstep.
Regardless, we can no longer use denial as an excuse, and what the best science can tell us is that once we reach a certain tipping point, the genie cannot be put back into the bottle for hundreds if not thousands of years. So how might we move from our catatonic state into one that begins to face and address the challenges? What are the possibilities and how might we unleash the creative juices of the human family to dream up new solutions?
We know the most effective, fastest, and least expensive approach is to reduce our consumption of fossil fuels from production through disposal. We each are empowered to do so. Turn stuff off except when we’re actually using it. Insulate. Drop the thermostat a degree or two in the winter and raise it a degree or two in the summer. Drive less. Ask our government and businesses to do the same. One way or the other we will share the hardships of nature’s response, so why not start now and think of it as preventative medicine?