Monday, March 4, 2013

The Real Sticking Point

Trey Smith

I felt genuine satisfaction at having been there, but given what was at stake, given Frankenstorm Sandy, the devastating Midwestern drought and record southwestern fires of 2012, the Snowmageddon winter storm that had recently dropped 40 inches of the white stuff on Hamden, Connecticut, the blistering spring and summer of 2012, the fast-melting Arctic sea ice, and the fact that last year broke all heat records for the continental United States, given the build-up of billion-dollar weather disasters in recent years, and the growing emphasis on “extreme weather” events on the national TV news, shouldn’t hundreds of thousands have been there? After all, I’ve been in antiwar demonstrations in which at least that many marched and in 1982, I found myself in my hometown in a crowd of a million demonstrating against the possibility of a world-ending nuclear war. Is climate change a less important issue?
~ from Where Is Everybody? Why It's So Tough to Get Your Head Around Climate Change by Tom Engelhardt ~
What is Engelhardt referring to? The Forward On Climate Rally on Sunday, February 17. You may have seen it mentioned on your local TV news...or maybe not.

I believe one of the primary reasons that it is so tough for people to get their heads around climate change is that it calls for change on an individual basis. When people take to the streets to demand an end to war or nuclear proliferation, they are trying to apply pressure to political leaders to do something that is beyond the scope of individual citizens.

Climate change is different. You and I -- without any government involvement whatsoever -- can be the catalysts for change. If consumers stopped purchasing GMO frankenfoods, stopped purchasing gas-guzzling vehicles and drove less, stopped spraying carcinogenic muck on our lawns and gardens, and recycled like there is no tomorrow, change would occur. As the corporate behemoths began to see their profits going down, they would change the way they did business to push their market shares in the opposite directions. As political candidates began to see their vote totals slip away, out of their own self-interest, they would jump on the environmental bandwagon.

But in order to serve as the catalysts for this type of change, Americans have to get our fat butts off of the couch! We have to quit stuffing ready-made garbage down our pie holes. We have to change the way WE live. And that's the real sticking point, isn't it?

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