A Good Place To Start
By Bergin Parks on 05/16/2012 @ 04:15 PM
One of the chief difficulties in addressing climate change is that we are all complicit in the propagation of the warming of our world. Even those of us who are seriously concerned about this issue play a substantial role in the problem.
I ride my bike to work as often as I can, but my bike tires and even much of my clothing comes from foreign factories powered by coal fired furnaces. According to Scientific American, Producing the annual beef diet of the average American emits as much greenhouse gas as a car driven more than 1,800 miles. Just being alive in the first world and reaping the benefits of the free market and all of the infrastructure that supports it makes it dang near impossible to live a life that is entirely removed from industrial carbon cycles.
We must act humbly, but with purpose. None of us are innocent, but the whole of humanity is charged with the responsibility of doing better. The hard fact is that the world will become warmer. Retroactively reducing atmospheric CO2 content to preindustrial levels is no longer an option. People will die of hunger, thirst, heat exhaustion, extreme weather events and in myriad resource shortage conflicts. People already do worldwide, everyday. But the frequency and severity of these events will increase in direct proportion with warming trends.
Another maddening facet to the overall problem is that despite our knowledge of these trends (and lets be clear, climate change is no longer conjecture) the American taxpayer still funds infrastructure projects and resource extraction methods that take us backward in time.
During the first quarter of 2012, the Big Five oil companies earned a combined $33.5 billion, or $368 million per day. Fossil fuels are subsidized at nearly 6 times the rate of renewable energy in the United States. Americans pay Oil Companies to do their jobs, in what is already the most profitable industry in the world. Think about that for a moment.
The U.S. is the only country in the developed world without a comprehensive climate change plan. American taxpayers fund dirty energy technology that not only endangers human health and the environment, but puts us behind even developing nations with the governmental wisdom to fund renewable, clean technologies that, in the long run, will be incalculably more cost effective.
Civilization is where it is today, in large part, because of fossil fuels and internal combustion. Ironically, these resources and technology now threaten the quality of life they have provided us in the past. We are all responsible for the problem we face, and we must all do what we can to address it. Repealing fossil fuel tax breaks, loopholes and special financing is the most logical place to start. Please read about the "End Polluter Welfare Act," bill number S.3080, and urge your members of congress to be an original co-sponsor.