Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Quote of the Day (Bill McKibben, on Climate Change, ‘The Fight of Our Time’)

“If we do not solve this problem soon, we will not solve it. We are called upon to act with all that we have. It is the fight of our time — and we need you.”—Environmental author-activist Bill McKibben, on climate change, quoted in Jamie Landers, “Bill McKibben Calls for Individual Action and Collective Climate Change Reversal,” The  Chautauquan Daily, Aug. 15, 2019

At the moment, many would say that the coronavirus pandemic is “the fight of our time”—and I’m not sure I would quarrel with that assessment.

But I strongly believe that climate change has this in common with COVID-19: It is an emergency waiting to happen, a perfect storm resulting from authoritarian instincts that smother inconvenient bad news, our country’s unwillingness to make prudent investments that might stave off disaster, and—I might as well say it—a President who scoffs at science and even elementary facts while turning a real but by means insoluble problem into a massive catastrophe that didn’t have to happen. And it has similar potential to create a Darwinian struggle in which the haves are far, far more likely to survive than the have-nots.

Take a look around at all the people wearing masks today. In the not-so-distant future, given that President’s attitude toward the environment—and his diehard followers’ swallowing of nearly every word he says—it is not at all inconceivable that those masks may come into use again, even after this particular pandemic subsides, if our air becomes too polluted to breathe.

No comments: