Reflections on The Climate March
I wish I had taken the opportunity to participate in the Climate March at the UN Climate Summit in NYC this past September. It was awe inspiring how many people from all walks of life, in over 160 countries, organized themselves to stand up and demand action. Some may argue the movement began as early as 1982, when over one million people gathered and demonstrated against nuclear weapons at the Nuclear Disarmament Movement in Central Park. Now three decades later, the movement has shifted focus to the environment. Action on the part of our government against the fossil fuel industry has been little more than a nod, acknowledging the need for change.
Some leaders like George Busch Sr. advocated the fossil fuel industry supported many American jobs. Well present day, and many more jobs will be lost to the effects of climate change; from fishing, to farming, to transportation, to something as insignificant as winter skiing. Multiple sectors of the economy have or will feel the negative effects of an industry, who’s long running defense has been job creation. It’s the lack of forward thinking and a short-term outlook on the part of our government that the industry still exists today. The U.S. as an economic leader sets an example for the rest of the world, and as of now we’ve set an extremely poor complacent example.
The clean energy revolution will employ more people than the fossil fuel industry ever did, starting with finding solutions to what are only hurdles that will be overcome. Solar energy exists today, and is significantly more efficient than it was, just a half decade ago. The solar industry needs more publicity than it has received. Homeowners and the general public need to be made aware there are no longer upfront cost, and that installing a solar array can actually be less costly to finance than a monthly electric bill. Years ago cost competitiveness was the solar industries largest barrier to market entry; that is no longer the case. The industry needs more communicators and advocates, armed with facts and financing tools to help solar spread across the rooftops of the world.
There is promise in Cap and Trade in helping to curb emissions that began in California on July 1st 2013. It effectively limits the amount of greenhouse gas emissions a company can produce, and allows companies to trade and purchase credits with one another, depending on their ability to stay within regulations. Each year the cap is lowered, further reducing emissions. Opponents say this will raise the cost of energy and fuel. That may not be such a bad thing, considering a majority of the fuel and energy that may be affected are the dirty forms, namely coal and oil. This will cause solar and wind energy to be even more competitive, against the disproportionately subsidized oil and gas industry.
It is of utmost importance the revolution continues and picks up in momentum. That is why I’m making a vow to be in Paris for the UN Climate Change Conference, beginning on November 30th 2015, to take part in the next installment of the Climate March. My voice, along with millions of others will be heard. I see it as my moral duty and obligation to future generations, this industry we call fossil fuels, goes extinct within my lifetime.