I have read many articles and the UN reports on climate change and very few, if any, offer solutions. The majority are doom and gloom commentaries and discuss how we are quickly passing the opportunity to limit the warming of the planet to 1.5 degree Celsius. Fires, droughts and floods are the future of our planet. At the same time, scientists do admit that all hope is not completely lost, but the window of opportunity is rapidly closing.
In order to spark action, scientists coin phrases like “climate emergency” and “climate doom.” There’s even a climate change doomsday clock. Those who don’t buy into this mass hysteria, are considered fools, are selfish and are ultimately going to die because of their own callous ignorance. Then Hollywood creates a terrible movie, Don’t Look Up, which ends the existence of humanity by a comet, as a sort of catharsis I suppose. “We’ll show you!! Now maybe you’ll listen.” But does it change hearts and minds? Of course not.
The problem with the message and the messengers is that they never offer realistic solutions. They say 1.5C, is the threshold and have at it. But this transformation of our entire way of life essentially, is a marathon, not a sprint. And if that’s not good enough to save our planet, then I suppose we’re doomed. Ending fossil fuels in the near term, is not a solution. Our lives are centered around petroleum. Freezing to death without home heating oil in the near term, is far more realistic to those living in the Dakotas, than death from climate change. So, what’s being done to change this?
We’re already working on it. We’ve been working on it for decades. The first time I drove from San Francisco to Modesto California, 20-years ago, I drove through a wind farm. There were windmills on the rolling hills for as far as the eye could see. Since then, even greater advances have been made and are ongoing. Homes are slowly converting to solar, even in Brooklyn, NY. Cars are slowly converting to lithium-ion battery driven. Other fuel alternatives are also being developed. Teslas and other electric cars are becoming common on our streets. We may not be able to avert the 1.5 C temperature threshold, in the short term, but it will eventually happen, as we slowly convert to alternative sources of fuel. The world isn’t going to end before we get there.
Not every weather event is a result of climate change, any scientist who definitively says otherwise, is a liar. The reason New York City reservoirs are at 100% capacity as of this post, is because NYC is located in a temperate location, in the Northeast quadrant of America. We will always have rainwater, regardless of climate change. California, Arizona, and Nevada on the other hand, with a combined population of 50 million people, have always been dry. Death Valley in California was named in 1849, long before climate change. Why isn’t overpopulation in the west ever discussed as a serious threat to that part of the country? It’s because there’s no solution?
The message on climate change needs to be this; the elimination of fossil fuels, pesticides, plastics, etc. will make our world cleaner and safer for our children and grandchildren. The end of fossil fuels is inevitable so let’s work together to solve the challenges ahead of us. Then, the new green jobs, promised by those most vocal on climate change, must be created and demonstrated to the rest of the country, so that people believe it. When the coal mines, oil rigs and refineries are permanently shuttered, it should be because all those who worked them, are employed at their new, high-paying, green energy jobs, not before.
We need to greatly reduce our consumption of energy so that fossil fuels will last until new technology can replace them. I don’t know if replacements can be found. There are some possibilities now being worked on but are not available now in the amounts that will be needed. That may not ever happen and our descendants will watch as they run out of energy and survive on farming, fishing, and herding as our ancestors did in the past.