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Friday, May 9, 2014

Another rendezvous with destiny

Tuesday’s release of the National Climate Assessment was, it seems to me, a non-event.

The contents of the report were frightening. Our climate has already changed. And it will get unimaginably worse without immediate, sweeping action to change our energy mix, mitigate the damage we’ve already inflicted, and moving aggressively to adapt to the unavoidable warming we’ve baked in to our overheated globe.

The report itself was extremely well-presented – a simple, comprehensive, and comprehensible distillation of the draft report released in January of this year.

But will it wake us up?

I wish I could be more hopeful. 

In the end, our nation's response to the existential threat of global climate disruption is as much about leadership as it is about survival. The reptilian Right dismisses a unilateral national effort - even as, for example, cities watch the waters rise and face increasingly severe flooding, and the insurance industry sounds the alarm

US leadership - thanks to The Greatest Generation - saved the world once.  It can do it again, by catalyzing international action. 

And states like Pennsylvania can lead our nation in this all-important work. Or not.  

This generation of Americans - like my parents' generation - has a rendezvous with destiny. Will we - or will we not - face, and lead the world in defeating, a truly global threat?

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