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Forum, Oct. 1: We must solve climate crisis


Monday, September 30, 2019
We must solve climate crisis

Hats off to 16-year-old Greta Thunberg of Sweden for speaking out so forcefully on climate change. She is courageous and deeply intelligent. She has entered the hearts and minds of people across the world. She, and millions of young people by her side, deserve an answer — not good wishes and comforting words, but a global plan and action. We must solve this problem. And we will.

Technology is not the problem. Time will always allow improvements, but we can start right now with the technology we have. Wind, solar, hydropower and battery storage technologies are well developed and ready to go. There is no technical reason why we cannot transition to 100% carbon- and nuclear-fission-free energy on a full-scale global effort.

In short, it’s not a question of whether we will succeed in stopping and reversing the disease we have inflicted on the planet, but rather, the absolute necessity of doing so — doing what’s necessary to bring the planet back to good health. But to reverse the damage and bring sustainable health to the planet, we must create the wealth needed to reward all people and organizations involved in the process.

Actually, the wealth needed for rebuilding the planet does not need to be created. It only needs to be recognized. We live on a planet whose value has never been intrinsically part of our economic system. That needs to change. The value of our planet dwarfs the total global wealth recognized by the world’s economies. Monetizing a portion of its value in a global funding system uniquely created for fighting climate disruption and stabilizing the planet’s climate and biological systems will be essential.

And that brings us to leadership.

Greta embodies a great example of leadership from the bottom up. And now we must match that with strong, progressive leadership from the top down. Who will our next president be? It will be in our current political and legal system that our next president will function. And then leadership for serious change must follow.

The right person will make a huge difference.

CHARLES McKENNA

Wilder

Young prophet of the climate

Fox News host Laura Ingraham recently compared young Swedish activist Greta Thunberg to the obsessed children in a Stephen King horror movie. I wonder what Ingraham, a 1985 Dartmouth College graduate, thinks of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.?

He, too, traveled far, more than 6 million miles, in his efforts to speak to as many people as possible. He led marches and used strong language to draw our attention to the civil rights crisis in the U.S. His words were prophetic and led to the establishment of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which helped heal a nation.

Yet, prophecy is not always predicting what will happen but illuminating what is happening, which is exactly what King was trying to do.

Like King, young Greta has a similar mission: to draw our attention to the environmental crisis of the present, which has to do with the reluctance of the leaders of the world and, by association, all of us, to recognize climate change for the critical problem it is and to act immediately, energetically and responsibly to alleviate its causes. She is hoping to help heal a world.

Ingraham seems to believe that Greta is a crazed child. I believe she is a prophet.

JUDY McCARTHY

Grantham

Calling out powerful adults

Greta Thunberg, a 16-year-old activist, recently addressed the United Nations and talked about her fear and frustration regarding climate change.

Greta referenced some sobering scientific facts about the consequences of human indifference and called out powerful adults for expecting the next generation to clean up their mess.

President Donald Trump used sarcasm on Twitter to mock Greta’s presentation, saying that she “seems like a very happy young girl looking forward to a bright and wonderful future. So nice to see!”

It might seem unsportsmanlike for the president to deploy his devastating wit to skewer his opponents. But to be fair, Donald Trump is so unbiased that he even mocks himself from time to time: Once, he called himself “a very stable genius.”

Ha! That was a really good one, Donald.

ABIGAIL FLEMING

Bradford, Vt.