Sunday, September 08, 2019

Climate Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes

I didn't need another reason to like Elizabeth Warren. I also don't know if what she said the other night will be enough to lock down my vote when it comes time, but someone who is running for President of the United States should have the clarity to tell its people this: “Look, there are a lot of ways that we try to change our energy consumption and our pollution, and God bless all of those ways. Some of it is with light bulbs, some of it is on straws, some of it, dang, is on cheeseburgers.” 
And then she continued: “But understand, this is exactly what the fossil fuel industry hopes we’re all talking about.” 
Seventy percent of the carbon we are throwing up into the air comes from three industries: electric power, building, and yes, the fossil fuel industry. While we as consumers and foragers continue to feel the weight of every plastic straw and cheeseburger, somewhere there are these great beasts spewing filth in ways that can barely be comprehended. So let's keep talking about straws and cheeseburgers, and we can wonder why it would be a clever move for the current administration to walk back a federal mandate that all light bulbs manufactured by 2020 be the energy efficient, LED or fluorescent type. Similarly, the current bunch in the White House has seen fit to undo limits on methane emissions. In the interest of energy conservation, feel free at this point to generate your own joke about Donald Trump and methane emissions. 
The fear of being a coal miner in a world that no longer burns coal, or a methane producer in a world without gas is a real one. Those people could and should find jobs in a brave new world that makes a sturdy paper straw, and creates buildings that enhance the environment without destroying it. There is still plenty of work to be done. That means there will still be plenty of jobs. 
But change is difficult. Which is precisely why I enjoyed Senator Warren's words. One, in particular. It was the "dang." I know that my cheeseburger intake will be a burden to any climate, but it is a tough habit to shake. I get the impression that Elizabeth may enjoy an occasional cheeseburger herself. Hence the regret. But while we're waiting for the impossible burger to fill that void, let's keep our eyes on the big picture, shall we? 

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