That means finally ending our addiction to oil, a source — if not the source — of two recent wars. And that also means avoiding centuries of strife and conflict from catastrophic climate change. As reported in September:
An intelligence forecast being prepared for the next president on future global risks envisions a steady decline in U.S. dominance in the coming decades, as the world is reshaped by globalization, battered by climate change, and destabilized by regional upheavals over shortages of food, water and energy.
The world beyond 450 ppm atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide, the world that crosses carbon cycle tipping points that quickly take us to 1000 ppm, is a world not merely of endless regional resource wars around the globe. It is a world with dozens of Darfurs. It is a world of a hundred Katrinas, of countless environmental refugees — at least a hundred million by the second half of this century and more than a billion by the next century — all clamoring to occupy the parts of the developed world that aren’t flooded or desertified.
In such a world, everyone will ultimately become a veteran, and Veteran’s Day itself will fade into obscurity, as people forget about a time when wars were the exception, a time when soldiers were but a small minority of the population.
The time to act is January 20, 2009.