Will there ever be a convenient time to re-introduce the subject of climate change into mainstream discourse? Post-Labor Day? Maybe on a Wednesday three weeks from today? Can we squeeze it in before the holidays? Or are things so crazy we have to take a deep breath and put it on the agenda for just after the new year?
People like Derek and Nancy Casady are tired of the delays. The couple (she's general manager of the Ocean Beach People's Organic Food Market; he's president of the La Jolla Democratic Club) is part of a national volunteer organization that believes the world is on a collision course with a catastrophic climate disruption.
The Casadys are local leaders of The Climate Mobilization. This advocacy group is calling for a World War II-scale mobilization (an emergency restructuring of the industrial economy) to restore a safe climate.
“We no longer have time to get America off of fossil fuels one individual, household, city or state at a time,” said Nancy Casady, who is also a Gov. Jerry Brown appointee to the California Food and Agriculture Board. “We must now make a home front commitment as a nation to implement 100 percent Clean Energy at wartime speed.”
It's better to do something, rather than the status quo—nothing—about this huge problem. But the argument for inaction from the political right is twofold: The science behind global warming is not conclusive; and, if the science is correct, then the United States alone can't fix a problem that other world powers have shown no inclination of addressing.
That's the rationalization you get from people like Republican presidential candidate Carly Fiorina.
“Every one of the scientists who tell us climate change is real and being caused by man-made activity also tell us that a single nation acting alone can make no difference,” Fiorina said in a recent interview with Katie Couric. “When I see a state like California destroy lives and livelihoods with environmental regulations that will make no difference at all to climate change; when I see the Obama administration take those regulations and apply it nationally, I wonder why are we doing this when it won't have any impact?”
It's true that China hasn't lifted a finger to curtail fossil fuel emissions. But the “Everybody Else Is Doing It” excuse rings hollow. The United States needs to work on both a national reduction solution as well as lead and participate in a worldwide call to action.
Folks like the Casadys know you don't change the world's temperature overnight, but their coalition believes time is running out to transition the United States off of fossil fuels and onto clean, safe and renewable solar, wind and water energy.
The organization's “Pledge to Mobilize” can be found at theclimatemobilization.org. Their call to action is that the U.S. government commences a “heroic” social and economic mobilization to restore a safe climate that supports human civilization; reduce the country's net greenhouse gas emissions 100 percent by 2025; and enlist tens of millions of Americans in an effort to expand carbon-neutral energy and agriculture systems.
If you sign The Climate Mobilization's pledge, you vow to vote for and donate time and money to political candidates on the local, state and national level who also believe the clock is ticking. The Casadys are targeting Rep. Scott Peters for his signature later this month.
“The Obama administration calls climate change a global threat on the scale of World War II, so why are we not responding with a World War IIscale emergency mobilization?” asks The Climate Mobilization founder Margaret Klein Salamon. “It's time to treat climate change like the existential threat it is.”
It stands to reason that saving the planet would come in handy, if only so all the social-justice progress borne in 2015 gets a chance to breathe for at least the next few decades.