On the evening of March 10th, some 20 or more US senators have pledged to pull an “all nighted and Stay up for the Climate.” While we all know we need more then “talk,” at least talking about the crisis in the Senate Chamber, and presenting thoughtful ideas on what we need to move forward, are important steps in the right direction.
One of our favorite Climate Papas, Paul Reale, has shared with us some thoughts that he wants our Senators to hear, and we wanted to share his thoughtful comments with you! Why don’t you follow Paul’s lead, and drop your Senator and congressman a line. Take a page from Paul’s book, and let your elected official know why addressing Climate Change is so important to you. We don’t have time to waste.
What Will the World Look Like in 25 Years
By Paul Reale
On March 10th, a bunch of U.S. Senators will be speaking through the night about climate change. Senator Elizabeth Warren (MA) asked what the world will look like in 25 years, seeking material to be used during that all-nighter. So I wrote in. I realize it will probably not be used, but here are the 450 words that I think need to be said in the U.S. Senate…
In 25 years, here’s what I hope the world will look like. It’s a world in which I’m lucky enough to have a couple of grandkids to spoil, my daughter Hannah is 40 years old, and my wife Barbara and I are heading into old age. It’s a world where healthy food, clean water, clean air and electricity is available not just to my grandkids, but to everyone. It’s a world whose global economy is powered by renewable energy, delivered by a smart grid, and sleek, convenient forms of mass transit are not only the preferred way to get around, but places to meet interesting people. It’s a world in which our buildings are comfortable and energy efficient, one in which all the great young Americans that now work in the fossil fuel industry are enjoying new careers in energy efficiency or renewable energy.
But in 25 years, I’m afraid the world might not look like that. It might very well be a world where extreme droughts and floods have clobbered our communities and our crops and food prices will cost us Americans a much larger share of our paychecks. It could be a world in which we experience far more unbearably hot days, in which every community braces for massively destructive weather at least once a year and storm surges due to sea level rise cause far more damage than in the past. It could be a world in which wild fires are more intense and wide spread than any time in history, and one in which great American cities like Atlanta, Los Angeles and Houston experience such severe water shortages that their populations will dwindle out of necessity. Perhaps worst of all, it could be a world in which we all know that our collective, incessant consumption of fossil fuels is at the root of some of our worst problems, that we’ll be virtually certain that we’ve caused these climate catastrophes, and yet we find it impossible to wean ourselves of it.
My hope, though, is that in 25 years a page in history will read that 25 years ago our elected officials in Washington, D.C. mustered the courage and the political will to do what was right. They put a PRICE ON CARBON. They crafted and passed legislation that resulted in dramatic reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, and as a result we kept the worst effects of climate change at bay. And I’ll have my grandkids on my lap and I’ll tell them how American leadership set an example for governments around the world, that they followed our lead, that we owe a great debt of gratitude to those American patriots, and that just maybe when they grow up they’ll decide to be courageous public servants like them.
Thanks Paul, we couldn’t have said it better! We hope our Senators are half as eloquent and as thoughtful as you. And, most importantly, we hope they take this opportunity to share their ideas with us, and then put their words into action to create meaningful legislation that will help enable and create a livable future is for us all.