It is “morally unconscionable” for the fossil fuel industry, and the politicians who carry their water in Congress, to stand in the way of action on climate change, says blogger Joe Romm. By mid-century, global action on climate change is a given, he said. The question is whether we have the will to act now.
On July 19, Joe Romm, a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress and editor of the influential Climate Progress blog, told a Climate One audience in San Francisco that California voters have an opportunity this November to defeat the forces seeking to delay action on climate change by rejecting an attack on the state’s signature piece of climate legislation, AB 32. “There isn’t anything more important Californians can do than kill Proposition 23 by as large a margin as possible to send a message. Anybody who wants to save the climate in this country, who wants to pass legislation, is going to have to transform politics in this country so that there is a political cost to trying to destroy the climate.”
He went on: “You have a ballot initiative which will tell the nation and the world whether the state of California is prepared to put a political penalty for those who callously disregard the health and well-being of everyone’s children and grandchildren – including mine and including yours. It is just morally unconscionable to oppose moderate action like AB 32 on global warming. It is morally unconscionable to spread disinformation, to tell people in a crowded, burning room that there’s nothing wrong and they should sit there and keep doing nothing.”
Unfortunately, Romm said, many people, including some progressives and President Obama’s political team, think climate change is just another issue. “If you don’t spend a lot of time on the climate issue, then you don’t realize that it’s the transcendental issue of our time. That it is going to swallow all other issues over the course of the lifetime of most of the people who are listening to my words today.”
“Over the next 10 to 20 years, it’s going to eat up every other issue and overwhelm them. By the 2020s, it’s going to be the driving force behind all national and international energy, economic, environmental, and political policy,“ he said.
Confronted by such a grave threat, we need to act now, Romm said. Which means we can’t wait for technologies yet invented. More R&D funding for clean energy would be wonderful (it would have been even better 10 to 20 years ago, he said, but “we need to deploy every last piece of low-carbon technology we have today if we’re to give the next generation a fighting chance.”
By Justin Gerdes