Friday, 26 September 2014

Down the Ladder for Climate Change

I used to do a lot more heavy construction work than I do now. I've pared it down to painting because as I “become more advanced”, lifting heavy objects becomes more difficult. I can still lift heavy things and there is certain groaning sound emitting from me that is a harbinger of things to come if I am not careful.

Basically, I don't want to look like a hunchback when I'm eighty-nine.

Of course, there are ladders involved in building structures and whenever I was up a ladder doing this or that, it seemed inevitable I would drop that one tool I needed most to complete the job. For a moment I would stare at the offending tool (it was the tool's fault, don't you know) attempting to deny gravity existed by using some Yoda eyes-roll-into-the-back-of-head extreme concentration of the mind I would magically make the thing float back into my hand. Then, admitting defeat, I would trundle down the ladder, retrieve the tool and huff back up the ladder to complete said chore.

Yoda is cool and sometimes he gets on my nerves... smart-ass green whatever you are.

Whether I deny it or not, gravity exists. It is a part of the reality in which I exist. I can explore the idea that overcoming gravity is a mind trick or I can argue with Sir Issac Newton to utter boredom that there is no such thing as gravity or I can deny it and ignore it. The simple fact is, whether I believe it or not, gravity exists.

Can we all agree on that?


Whether we deny it or rename it or are being funded by big energy companies or cannot get past the idea that we have the right to wipe out half of the planet's flora and fauna without retribution, Global Warming exists. Denying it will not change the scientific data. Denying it will not save our children and grandchildren from a life of anguish. Denying Global Warming exists and that we, humans, are affecting the change will not change the fact that it is happening.

Here is what I don't understand.

How is it we can put dollars before humanity? How is it our leaders can be affected by how much money is in their purse and from whom? Why is cost even entering the discussion? When are we, humanity, going to understand money is not the impetus one uses to make ethical decisions? When do we figure out that concern about cost will always be at odds with ethics.

Ethics has nothing to do with cost. Nothing. If a person's (those in power) ethics decisions are skewed by how much it will cost, that person is displaying a complete lack of ethics. We cannot have an ethical debate when dollars enter the fray. It's... just... not... possible.

Perhaps if Big Energy took the enormous funds they scatter around our decision maker's pocketbooks and used it to fund safe clean energy, we would have much less of a problem.

Human beings figure things out. We just do. It's in our nature. Decreasing our dependence on fossil fuels is not a problem. It's an opportunity. If a company goes bankrupt because we stop buying into the fossil fuel regime and another grows because we buy into the renewable energy regime, how have we lost? People who are now employed in fossil fuels would then be employed in renewable energy. It's simple economics. In actual fact, if Big Energy took all of the money they paid decision makers and scientists to promote their viewpoint and put it into retooling themselves toward renewable energy, they would not need to worry about their company going under. The "we can't afford to dump oil and gas" economics argument is unethical and idiotic and even those who use the argument know it.

If decisions continue to be made by economics instead of ethics, empirical evidence and right action, then we are doomed.

I guess the real question is this... Do we continue to  allow our leaders to stand on the ladder staring at the solution in the mud denying Global Warming exists or do we make them admit the simple truth and tell them to go get the damned thing to finish the job?

The answer seems pretty simple to me.