If science is about anything it’s about measurement. You don’t have to be a climate scientist to notice that science has been measuring some very scary things going on in the world of late. With wildfires from Hawaii to northern China, droughts, storms, boiling oceans, floods and heat waves, the news seems dire and the prognosis grim. But don’t succumb to despair. There is hope, and there are things we can do to ameliorate and even reverse this alarming trend.
One thing we can do is end the subsidy of oil. Republicans are forever tearing their hair out about socialism, well consider this little bit of socialism: the fossil fuel industry is being subsidised at the rate of $12 million US dollars per minute. You read that right. Twelve million. Per minute.
Every minute that goes by is a minute that Republicans and others are letting their favourite lobby get away with the biggest welfare scam in history. Bring that to their attention next time they start bellyaching about the “evils” of socialism and tell them to climb the hell down off their little hypocritical performative rant. Imagine what the world could do with $12 million per minute!
Canada is leading the way in ending public funding for fossil fuels. They now have a schedule to end all such funding by the spring of 2024. They have set an example for us all. Let’s follow it.
In the United States, voting Republicans out of office is one big step we can take in fighting the oil subsidies and other contributors to climate disaster. But that’s not all, and the effort doesn’t have to be global or national, it can also be local.
Oberlin, Ohio, is a case in point. They have an aggressive city plan to cut emissions by 75% by the year 2030. They’re also creating a blueprint for other cities to follow suit. They are inviting cities across the nation to come to Oberlin and see how they do it.
We can make a difference in our individual lives, too. Everything we do also matters. We hold the key to the solution. If you’re not doing everything you can to reverse the trend of global warming in your personal lives, then start — and start today.
Recycle, walk when you could drive, take public transportation, stop eating meat, or eat less of it. And the ever popular: think twice about having kids. Whatever you choose to do, you will feel better about yourself for doing it. You will set an example for others to follow.
The challenges are considerable, but the choice remains ours. How we behave today will affect how dire our challenges will be tomorrow. But the good news is we can overcome the inertia and the proclivity for government indifference and government evil.
As a people we survived two world wars, we ended the Vietnam War, we went to the moon and we survived Covid. We can do this too. Just don’t succumb to despair. There is a way out. It’s up to each of us to follow it. And, as ever, ladies and gentlemen, brothers and sisters, comrades and friends, stay safe.
Robert Harrington is an American expat living in Britain. He is a portrait painter.