Letter: Radical is cool
We had to shake our heads at Butch Mazzuca’s column concerning the Climate Action Collaborative event “Getting to Zero: From Radical to Rational,” featuring Dr. Robert Davies, physicist and climate scientist from Utah State University. Mazzuca holds forth on how it seemed to be the same old trope of exaggerated climate “science” and how it is just simply not in our human nature to fix climate change, if it were even real, because all any of us really cares about is the economy. He criticizes the speaker for offering no solutions to an ill-defined problem. He put forth a lot of effort to write a column on an event that he didn’t even attend.
We did attend the event, and found the information presented not only logical and comprehensive, but skillfully arranged to lead the listener to the conclusion that action is required of us all. Dr. Davies’ presentation was a call to action of the leaders of this community to use the resources of our organizations to go beyond what each of us can do as individuals to make a difference in the total emissions of greenhouse gases. Dr. Davies rightly told us that success is not possible without the policy leadership of the highest elected officials and powerful financiers. But he also helped us understand that elected officials don’t act until their electorates let them know what they think is most important. And that nothing, not even the economy, will be important if climate change is allowed to continue unchecked.
Dr. Davies helped us understand that we have a greenhouse gas budget to spend before conditions on the Earth become incompatible with the ability for civilization to exist. This budget is currently exceeded many-fold by the known reserves of fossil fuels. He advised that the leaders of our countries end subsidies that drive the continued exploration and extraction of the primary culprit of climate change.
If Mazzuca were following this topic in the news he would know, as most of us do, that there is not just one solution to climate change, but that we need to take action in every sector of our economy. We already know the answers to climate change: reduce consumerism, electrify our power sources with renewable energy, reconfigure our economic drivers to steer us in the right direction.
Dr. Davies urged us, as local leaders, to use the resources of our organization and the power of our convictions to take action. We must act like our hair is on fire to address this climate emergency, and that to do otherwise is radical denial of the path we are on, and what we see unfolding in the Australian fires, climate refugees moving from the Middle-East to Europe, the melting of the polar ice and permafrost, and what we see happening in our own valley: the rapid change of our climate.
We walked out of the event scared out of our wits for our future and our children, but also energized with the possibility of our own actions. Action can come from anyone and everyone. If you are not the leader of an organization that has resources to be leveraged, you can start composting, replace your natural gas-burning home appliances with electric ones, buy an electric car next time, and you can contact your local, state and federal representatives and let them know this is the most important issue to you as a voter.
So Butch, instead of sitting on the sidelines throwing pot-shots at those trying to make a difference, we’d like to know how you are going to leverage your biweekly Vail Daily platform to make a difference?
Gary and Linn Brooks