Let’s Reject the ‘Inevitable’

Taking back the power on climate change.

I love the Muir Woods too, but I still hold in my mind that the water I drink throughout the bay area originates in a high Sierra dam that was opposed by Muir until his death. A little like being pious as we drink the blood of saints.

1 2018-06-16 14:44:11 - Smokeyjack

Climate change isn’t just a disaster. It’s also our best chance to demand and build a better world.”

This and the whole column, really, are why nothing happens. Simple things that could be done are conflated in and endless list of social justice hoo-hah that can only mean central control by the enlightened.

Biting off one problem at a time is the only way that can be sold. For example, fix rules so that utilities have to buy solar power generated by individuals without putting themselves out of business too soon.

That is easier than gooey ideas like transforming capitalism and is more than just tinkering. It is about changing light bulbs.

3 2017-08-14 03:26:30 - mmpack

It would be very helpful to the cause, if the liberal establishment did not take the attitude that sacrifice is "for thee not for me." A massive wind farm off Cape Cod is being blocked because the view from their mansions might be affected. Massive electrical bills are 'offset' by supposedly planting trees somewhere, they don't care, they just shell out some money. It takes leaders who are willing to lead by example to get the movement going strong.

6 2017-07-05 17:07:20 - Paul

President Carter warned us thirty-five years ago, and we listened to corporate spokesman/movie actor Reagan. Hearing Carter tell us to spend less and to conserve money and energy, the corporations launched an attack on Carter that echoes to this day.

Think where we could have been now, what technologies we could have and what troubles avoided, if we'd heeded Carter. Well, let's get going now; time won't stop for regret.

14 2017-06-08 16:05:39 - jb

The US is still the biggest producer of greenhouse gases in the world. The US has a moral obligation to lead from the front, by example. This business of saying: we won't do anything until everyone else is on board is just counter-productive stonewalling. Where the US goes, others will follow. It's time to take the moral high ground.

0 2017-05-21 07:40:57 - Mark Crozier

It's the Tragedy of the Commons all over again, isn't it. What is good for the individual is death to the group (who are all of us).

2 2017-05-19 16:26:16 - MN

A great, and challenging, question. Especially considering the 'preacher/banker' syndicate Paul Krugman describes that has effective veto power in the US over every decision. How to reach beyond the echo chamber? How even to reach McKibben's fellow classmates from Harvard, and the classes following, the lion's share of which went into finance, and are now successfully poised at the levers of the government and financial system?

2 2017-04-27 19:45:48 - Richard Reiss

Carbon tax legislation is a sham. It simply doesn't work, just ask the Germans who now have more pollution and carbon. The only major reduction has resulted from switching from coal to natural gas in the US, where in only 4 years we made reductions that experts had predicted would take 25 years.

0 2017-04-21 10:10:33 - Kenneth Lindsey

Until you can find a practical way for billions of people who live with energy poverty to have access to more energy you are whistling in the wind. Neither China or India is prepared to sacrifice their citizens so that fat cat citizens from western companies can feel good about themselves.

6 2017-04-20 20:10:24 - Brian Van

At the time the Montreal Protocol was being debated there were indeed the same claims that it would cause increased prices and burden consumers. Once the Protocol went into effect cost-effective replacements for CFCs were found. In addressing climate change the substitution of technology may not prove as simple, and electricity rates may rise. But, for our economy overall, there may be little increase in costs, perhaps even a net reduction in costs. Right now we provide a massive subsidy to the fossil fuel industry by allowing most of their costs to be carried by others. The external costs of burning coal, through increased illness, death, and environmental degradation, are huge and are not part of economic transaction for energy. Fossil fuel companies fight action against climate change just as they fight action against air pollution and environmental damage. It increases the cost of their product and reduces their profit. And their money and political influence are the main impediments to effectively addressing climate change.

0 2017-04-15 15:47:54 - Douglas Price

There are two possibilities 1. There is a god and 2. There is no god. If there is a god then he can handle global warming. If there is no god then we are just a temporary phase in the evolution of species and planet so no point in worrying about whether the climate is suitable for us. Either way there is no reason to fret. Fire up the ac and party till its over

0 2017-04-13 19:31:39 - psoggy01

Climate science is scarcely more political than meteorology. I recall people in Pensacola claiming, seriously, because they were righteous, God spared them from hurricanes, at least until a hurricane visited. That part of Florida still resists adequate building codes.

1 2017-03-23 03:32:58 - D. Martin

I desperately wish that Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren would volunteer to speak at this rally. A political revolution is necessary to solve this problem - - we need to take back government from corporate powers

26 2017-03-18 11:02:50 - Robert

Love the way the ridiculous German energy picture was so conveniently air-brushed. Electric rates in Germany are 300% higher than the US; there are still huge tax subsidies to boot; industry gets low rates from households overpaying. If they don't industry relocates to Chattanooga and the Carolinas.

What do the Germans get for their green investment?

Clean air? No. Because alternative energy doesn't work. Basically green energy is an expensive hood ornament. The real electric generators are run by coal... whose use is expanding in Germany. More than a dozen coal fired plans have come on line or are about to soon.

And, get this, Green Energy in Germany will force the country to miss CO2 targets.

Great stuff. Now the US Greenies want to start taxing fossil fuel energy and jack up prices . Like American workers need their pocket picked even deeper.

This, of course, is why the GOP will control Congress. Not because they're so popular, but because voters are not going to buy into Green Energy economic suicide.

Congrats liberals. The Republicans thank you too.

7 2017-03-01 05:02:42 - Posa

We live in France; most everything is electric; 85% of France's electricity comes from nuclear power: France generates so much electricity we export our surplus. Our all electric apartment costs 46 Euros a month. If you want to generate your electricity using windmills, sunshine and cosmic rays; more power to you. If you get cold this winter, we'll sell you some of our surplus. For a price.

9 2017-02-18 14:30:32 - yankeefan

Hey. Remember the Millerites? The world didn't end on time so they just tweaked the prophecy and started a whole new denomination that is still with us. True belivers are impervious to facts.

3 2017-02-10 23:54:38 - KBronson

"We can change what seems inevitable; it will just take sacrifice and hard work, what Klein calls 'Marshall Plan levels of response.' ” Duh! Lester Brown has been saying the same thing for over 30 years. I and the rest of us "dirty commie pinkos" have been saying this for 50 years. The only solution is revolution - BUT it is impossible in the present United States. So what to do? Reduce your consumption; 20% reduction in your driving is just a start. There are all kinds of things you can do to make changes at the local level. The federal, state and local governments will never give up any of their power without a struggle. Frederick Douglass said that 150 years ago. The 'gubbmint" will be happy to keep as much power as they can while civilization swirls the toilet bowl. So make some changes in your consumption habits now. It will help you survive the collapse of civilization.

1 2017-02-03 00:22:48 - Walter

Bill Moyers recently interviewed Katherine Hayhoe, a Christian leader trying to convince Christians to battle climate change. See http://billmoyers.com/episode/full-show-climate-change-faith-and-fact/?u...

It's a fascinating discussion which explains a lot of the craziness coming from the right these days. I highly recommend it.

1 2017-01-05 03:33:44 - Paula

I am one of the nuts. I will be at Columbus Circle on Sunday. You will be a beneficiary of the beliefs, morality, and actions of many others. We need no thanks. Virtue is its own reward.

1 2016-12-31 11:16:45 - William Havey

It will take more than a president to affect change. The only group that can defeat the carbon burning interests is the masses. What are the odds that in a world obsessed with terrorism, the cost of heat, electricity, food and transportation, people will rise up and force governments to tame the corporations.

1 2016-12-28 08:02:15 - Vincent Domeraski

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