The Sky And Chris Hedges

Chris Hedges says many things worth paying attention to in his column, The Sky Really Is Falling, and I recommend you read the whole column. Here, I want to focus on one of his statements:

Those who concede that the planet is warming but insist we can learn to live with it are perhaps more dangerous than the buffoons who decide to shut their eyes. It is horrifying enough that the House of Representatives voted 240-184 this spring to defeat a resolution that said that “climate change is occurring, is caused largely by human activities, and poses significant risks for public health and welfare.” But it is not much of an alternative to trust those who insist we can cope with the effects while continuing to burn fossil fuels.

It is difficult to deny his assertion. If you concede that the planet is warming, and that it is doing so due to human activities, you should be doing your damnedest to stop the activities needlessly provoking the warming, not pretending that we can accommodate a climate change that is likely to kill us all.

It’s not as if there’s nothing we as individuals can do…

If you’re anything like the folks in Our House, you use at least as much if not more energy in-house, locally controlling the extremes of weather (summer heat in our case; winter cold for many of you) in your living space, than you do for transportation. In America, transportation to places not visited by bus or rail lines (that would be, um, lemme see, just about every place in the greater Houston area) requires you to burn gasoline in your car. There’s not much you can do about it if you work, say, 15 miles from home, not an unusual distance for Houstonians. Nonetheless, facing 100+°F/100% humidity days, most of us necessarily (as we think) use air-conditioning fairly freely, and face high and rising utility bills.

One thing you can do in Houston, and I presume in many other major cities, is switch your electric provider to one that offers wind power. In our case, we didn’t even have to switch providers. Given that the alternatives are mostly nuclear power and coal (as far as I know, Houston has no major water-driven generators, and of course no tides), wind farms, with all their admitted flaws, surely contribute less to global climate change. (Just don’t let them build the wind farms in the middle of major migratory bird flyways.)

It’s an imperfect and partial solution… but it belies the notion that there’s nothing an individual can do. I welcome other ideas you may have; I could use a good dose of genuine hope right about now.

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