Letter: A Crusade to Save the Planet
To the Editor:
Willem Post in his Sept. 30 letter says that, “One would need a dominant psychic hold on the public mind similar to that of the Roman Catholic church in the Middle Ages to create the moral force to undertake the great sacrifices and efforts required” to make energy efficiency take hold worldwide. I agree with him that it will take worldwide cooperation, but I have hope that such understanding can take hold.
It is precisely the aim of Bill McKibben’s 350.org project to form a worldwide movement to undertake the necessary sacrifices and efforts to save the planet. And the world, because of the new communication technology, is one world now. The number 350 refers to the concentration of carbon in the atmosphere we need to achieve to maintain climate stability. (We are now over 400 parts per million.) McKibben’s outreach is like that of the early Christians: If we are to live, we must multiply believers. Christianity did spread worldwide, and other religions hold similar views honoring the Earth. McKibben appeals especially to the young, and the movement extends worldwide already.
Sacrifice? Yes. For the international fossil-fuel industry, it will require the sacrifice of profits. For the rest of us, the violent weather resulting from global warming and the economic shifts required to adjust to it will result in a sacrifice of our individual well-being. It would help to have powerful leaders move faster — but it can happen by spreading the faith.