Columns and Letters

Letter: Hope, action, and reality

August 3, 2022

Dear Editor,
    What enlightened researchers, environmentalists, scientists, and activists have known for decades is that it is action that we desperately need. We no longer have time (geologically speaking) to postpone essential, critical actions. We have already passed many tipping points and created environmental feedback loops that will continue to increase and deepen the catastrophic impacts we have created. Everyone, no matter how young or old, can be part of the solution.
    There are so many solutions that can be applied to deal with the climate catastrophe we are in…some are more practical than others. Of course, there will be technological advances and there are many ways to recycle almost everything effectively including most plastics but that needs to happen now. Potential solutions take creativity, money, and time so what else can we “hope” for? Hoping some technological solution is going to magically come along and “fix” this crisis is absolutely delusional.
    The discussion about what will work or what won't work to address climate change needs to be based on the most recent and reliable scientific facts including the very accurate prognosis for the future.
    I greatly appreciate this discussion amongst us and I find the same discussions taking place in every one of the environmental organizations I am involved with. Many of us have been researching the issues of climate change for decades and we have found an enormous amount of information.
    Environmentalists are generally a group who still find a reason to hope, although we know if we want hope to come to fruition; it needs to be twinned with action. We need that to happen now!
    My spouse, who spent her career in business, is fond of saying “Hope is not a strategy.” Her philosophy is “why before what,” in other words, let’s articulate why we need to do something, and then choose what that something will be. Then, we ask “who is doing what by when.” Many people are absolutely right in their assessment of our current environmental situation and millions, if not billions of people, feel the same way but the question remains – “What in the world are the politicians and the extremely wealthy counting on in order to address this most critical situation mankind has ever been made aware of?”
    The wealthiest 65 people and their immediate colleagues on planet Earth could change our collective future within a couple of decades but they choose not to. Corporations continue to place profits ahead of the well-being of humanity and the environment. In this statement, I am not putting all the onus on them but I am using the fact that wealth and political influence do have the potential to do what the not-so-wealthy are incapable of doing.
    We no longer have the huge amount of time it will take to entertain people who need to be convinced by hours of education and discussion that the climate crisis is real. The climate deniers are not the citizens who can help make the essential changes. Humanity needs to deal with the movers and shakers of this world – those who understand our reality at every level (local, provincial, national, and global) and not just their immediate backyard view. I include those people who use the “Not in my back yard” excuse about not participating in the solutions because they don't know or understand the global reality and that is exactly what this is.
    There is a simulator program that was designed and is updated quarterly by thousands of scientists from MIT/Sloan – it is called EnRoads and it is presented by Climate Interactive and there are six major categories in this simulator – Energy supply, Transportation, Building/Industry, Growth, Land/Industry Emissions and Carbon Removal. Please give it a try If you adjust the sliders you will simultaneously see the end result of your choice(s) between now and the year 2100 on the graphs within the program.
    So many options! So many potential solutions…so much is riding on this so let us demand more from our politicians and the business community.
    Paul Strome






























































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