Action needed on climate change

“Follow the money,” said “Deep Throat” in 1972, talking about the Watergate coverup.

In 1959, cigarette manufacturers learned from their own scientists that there was a connection between smoking and cancer. This would hurt their bottom line. The response was to begin a disinformation campaign to intentionally confuse the public about the science.

In 1978, Exxon scientists wrote in internal communications that burning fossil fuels was changing the climate. This would hurt their bottom line. The response was to begin a disinformation campaign to intentionally confuse the public about the science.

The science is clear. We are living in a climate-changed world now. The devastation from western fires, Midwest floods and southern hurricanes are a direct result of increased heat energy in the atmosphere. Climate change is real and it’s here.

The energy companies have trillions of dollars of assets buried in the ground. If those assets stay there, they become worthless. If they are harvested and burned, climate change worsens, but the companies reap billions in profit.

Currently, more people are employed in wind and solar energy production than in coal. Denmark has a plan to be entirely carbon neutral by 2050. In America, we could generate thousands more good-paying jobs if we made renewable energy a priority. We can accomplish much when we make it a priority. We did that with the Apollo effort in the 1960s and the war effort in the 1940s. In the process, we could slow the consequences of climate change that we are bequeathing to our children and grandchildren.

We can continue to wallow in money-driven junk science. As Bob Dylan says, “Money doesn’t talk, it swears.” Or we can begin to switch over to renewable energy as Texas is already doing. What we do now makes a difference.

For those of you too young to remember, Deep Throat was right.

COMMENTS