Climate

My Oral Testimony For House Hearing Today On Bark Beetles, Drought And Wildfires

UPDATE: What is below is what was prepared. I added a bio sentence on the fly upfront (in italics) and changed one word. This was my very first piece of testimony using the secrets of the most memorable and persuasive communicators in history that I detail in my forthcoming book.

Oral Testimony of Joseph J. Romm

Mr. Chairman, members of the Committee. Thank you for inviting me to testify. I’m a physicist, former acting assistant secretary of energy, and climate expert who runs the blog ClimateProgress.

Four score and seven years ago our grandfathers and grandmothers were enjoying life in the roaring 20s.

Now imagine you are in Congress back then and imagine that the nation’s leading scientists are warning that human activity – years of bad land management practices – has left our topsoil vulnerable to the forces of the wind. And that the next time a major drought hits, much of our farmland will turn to dust. Dust in the wind.

YOU WOULD TAKE ACTION.

Over the past two decades, the nation’s leading scientists have issued stronger and stronger warnings that human activity – burning fossil fuels and deforestation – will lead to longer and stronger droughts that dry out topsoil and timber, creating the conditions ripe for multiple, multi-decade Dust Bowls and wildfires.

In fact, we’re already topping Dust Bowl temperatures in many places – and the Earth has warmed only about 1 degree Fahrenheit since the 1930s Dust Bowl. Yet we are poised to warm some 10 degree Fahrenheit this century if we stay on our current path of unrestricted carbon pollution emissions.

I repeat, several studies now project the world may warm 10 degree Fahrenheit this century if we don’t act. And that is the average warming of the globe. Much of our country would see far higher temperatures. The recent heat wave would be considered a pleasantly, cool summer.

Another study looked at mid-century warming of just 2 degrees Fahrenheit. It found that wildfire damage in many of your home states — Utah, Colorado, Idaho, South Dakota, Nevada and Washington – would double, triple, even quadruple from current levels.

Imagine how big the government would have to be to deal with rampant wildfires and with a Dust Bowl choking the bread basket of the world. A lot bigger government than today, for sure.

So of course this great deliberative body is debating various bills to avoid this catastrophe by slashing carbon pollution.

Except it isn’t. We are here discussing bills aimed at “fuels treatment” – a euphemism for cutting down trees and using controlled burns.

Ignoring carbon pollution and focusing instead solely on fuels treatment to address the epidemic of bark beetles, the epidemic of drought, the epidemic of wildfires is like rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic. Or, more precisely, it is like burning some of the deck chairs and removing some of the umbrellas on the Titanic. Same outcome, more time wasted.

As I explained in the journal Nature last year, what we are discussing here today is the single most important question facing the nation: Can we prevent the extreme drought and wildfires ravaging the country today from becoming the new normal?

But the real question — and I am addressing myself to the members of the majority now – is how you want to be remembered. Do you want to be remembered as a Herbert Hoover, who sat by and did nothing in the face of obvious calamity, or as Abraham Lincoln, who took every measure to save the Union?

Lincoln said at Gettysburg “The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here.” That of course wasn’t true. But after testifying to Congress nearly a dozen times since 1995 (when I was principal deputy assistant secretary of energy), I am quite convinced that nobody remembers what we say here – and in the case of these bills, everyone will forget what you did here.

Are you Nevil Chamberlain — Or will you be Winston Churchill, who worked tirelessly to warn and prepare Britain for what was coming and told the House of Commons in 1936 “The era of procrastination, of half-measures, of soothing and baffling expedients, of delays, is coming to its close. In its place we are entering a period of consequences.”

The consequences are here, now, just as climate scientists predicted.

If we fail to take action, many scientists predict ruin for large parts of this country – ruin for large parts of your districts – ruin that lasts 50 generations.

Americans have fought for generations to defend government of the people, by the people, for the people. In the hour of crisis, we need that government to do its job. Now is that hour.

Thank you

76 Responses to My Oral Testimony For House Hearing Today On Bark Beetles, Drought And Wildfires

  1. Very well said Joe. I’ve long wondered if talking to leaders about their legacies can help them to lift their eyes enough to take meaningful action. I hope you got through to some of them.

  2. Billy Snapp says:

    Well-written. I liked: “Imagine how big the government would have to be to deal with rampant wildfires and with a Dust Bowl choking the bread basket of the world. A lot bigger government than today, for sure.” But I don’t see that logic swaying a particularly illogical bunch in Congress, unfortunately.

  3. Mike Roddy says:

    Joe, you really rose to the occasion yesterday. These are inspiring words- thank you.

    Your political opponents are like Senator Brooks of South Carolina, who attacked the abolitionist Sumner on the Senate floor with his cane, causing a serious and long term head injury. Brooks only paid a fine, and was greeted as a hero by his fellow Southerners.

    Certain Congressmen and Senators are never going to wake up, regardless of how bad it gets. As Lincoln learned, we can only defeat these people by fighting them. Weapons of choice this time should be public humiliation, and an insistence that the American people learn the truth about the devastation that we face. For this, we will need money, ideas, and, especially, a new media company that is unafraid of to discuss where our actions are taking us.

  4. Superb speech that haunts; it will be difficult to ignore.

    Thank you so much.

  5. Short, powerful, and to the point. Well done!

  6. Anderlan says:

    Thank you for putting yourself into the hellmaw of immoral denial and blame shifting. Where did they get these folks. I’ve not looked at the GOP bills, but the witnesses seem to say “nuke the federal management” generally, with technical critiques or a specific primary policy change they’d like! It smells like a sham, it quacks like a sham.

  7. Anderlan says:

    “with technical critiques or”

    Replace “with” with “without”.
    “without technical critiques or”…

  8. Lisa Boucher says:

    Well, the hearing adjourned ten minutes ago, and I have just one comment.

    It was amazing to see the insistence by Republicans to not let the climate crisis “intrude” on their shortsighted plan to yoke the bark beetle to their resource exploitation wagon.  It’s not a problem; it’s an opportunity to cut more trees and make more money!  Yeah, that’s the ticket.

    Thankfully, Mr. Romm was there to point out that the emperor’s wardrobe of climate denial is actually transparent.

  9. Artful Dodger says:

    Way to speak your mind, Joe! I hope you had some eyes rolling, and heads spinning. Keep on keepin’ on! Well done.

  10. Byron Smith says:

    I’d prefer if the eyes were spinning and heads rolling, but well done nonetheless!

  11. bill mckibben says:

    This is great stuff. I’ve been tweeting it out and others should do likewise

  12. Rollin says:

    Thankyou for saying what needs to be said, that these forests will ceases to exist and mitigation by tree removal will only exacerbate the problem through further soil drying. The petty short-term greed of lumber and ranching interests can be made to appear helpful but it is merely the lion or hyena targeting the wounded animal (the drying forests) with no thought for tomorrow.

  13. dan allen says:

    Well said!!

  14. Jeff Huggins says:

    Bravo! Thanks, Joe. Super!

    And thanks also to Bill for that excellent new piece in Rolling Stone. (Although it was still way too soft, and unnecessarily so, regarding President Obama’s failing role with respect to climate change these recent years, it did hit the nail on the head with respect to the Big Problem and the fossil fuel industry.) In any case, thanks!

    Be Well,

    Jeff

  15. Kevin says:

    Direct and to the point. Well done, Joe!

  16. Richard L says:

    Well said Joe!

    The video clip ended with oyur testimony. Did any congress person respond to you?

  17. Gail says:

    Romm’n’Legions salute you!

  18. M Tucker says:

    Joe I think that was one of the most stirring speeches regarding this crisis I have ever heard. I got chills. As with the Gettysburg address, and FDR’s address to a joint session of congress on Dec 8, 1941, a short powerful speech can be much more memorable and influential. But we must remember we are talking about congress.

    Congress ignored the 1930’s dustbowl until a vast cloud of dust engulfed DC just as they were debating the issue. Congress fought against FDR’s attempts to modernize the military before 1941 and we were lucky that at least some measures were adopted after Hitler conquered Western Europe. Churchill was not so lucky. Parliament ignored his warnings and GB entered the war with a woefully unprepared army.

    History shows that these groups of elected representatives have a miserable record of preparing for disaster. You have to wait for death and destruction and even then it may take these professional delayers some time to move. We have death and destruction now in the US and it is being ignored. These useless “law makers” can’t even pass some kind of jobs legislation. The Republican morons spend all their time on attempts to circumvent Roe, end family planning, and demonize certain groups of American citizens…freedom of religion indeed. Heat waves, droughts, wildfires, deaths, loss of property, skyrocketing food prices, tornadoes, wind storms, weeks long power outages, water shortages, hurricanes, floods…nothing will move these ignorant bombastic useless morons. If they haven’t already created a committee to investigate solutions yet that just lets you know how far we have left to go. And, of course, you are right…cleaning up the dead wood will do absolutely nothing to prevent the spread of bark beetles, prevent future drought prevent wildfires and prevent intense long lasting heat waves but it does fit nicely into the congressional obsession for delay.

  19. Susan Anderson says:

    Deserves a standing ovation!

    The truth is so rarely said and easily overwritten, but it will prevail.

    Thanks.

  20. Todd Neff says:

    Great work speaking truth to power, Joe.

  21. Mark says:

    Was there any response from the members of the committee?

  22. PeterW says:

    Really liked the speech Joe but looking at these Senators, did you think it made any difference in their mindset? So many of these guys are sociopaths, they just don’t care. Money and power is all important.

  23. This is spectacular Joe, good job and we need to get it all over FB and Twitter. What did the other panelist say? Summarizing their comments could be an interesting blog…

  24. Peter M says:

    Wonderful Job Joe-

  25. Great Speech

    We are just now experiencing the effects from the emissions we pumped in the air, 30 years ago. Consequences are here to stay and get worse.

    Our civilization is not prepared for the impact of unchecked climate change!

  26. otter17 says:

    Keep giving them hell, Joe. We will continue doing what we can as well.

  27. Lori says:

    How can an average citizen help back up and contribute to this message (delivered extremely well by the way). Seriously, I read this blog, I read other materials, but I am doing nothing meaningful to help change our course of self destruction. I don’t know how and I suspect I am not alone. I dont want to simply be a consumer that buys locally crafted beer, less beef, CFLs for my lights and a Pruis and feel I have done my part. I know we need much much more, but how , what, where, who?

  28. Erica says:

    Lori – where do you live? You should join a local chapter of Citizens Climate Lobby. We’re descending on Congress next week, as a matter of fact!

    http://www.citizensclimatelobby.org/meeting-locations

    http://www.citizensclimatelobby.org/introductory-call

  29. Frank Zaski says:

    Excellent. What do the scientists and models say about the century beyond this one if we do nothing?

  30. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    The lust for money seen in the rush to log beetle destroyed trees us a stark manifestation of the omnicidal Right’s insane villainy. It is, however, merely a symptom of the deeper evil, that creatures like this not only exist, an artefact of the distribution of intelligence, morality and human decency across a population, but that they are in charge of events, totally, across the Western world. The operating system that ensures that the worst, the most vicious, the most destructive and the most insatiably greedy rule, is capitalism. I can think of no other religion, philosophy or doctrine that raises brute greed to the highest level as a ‘virtue’ whose practise mysteriously benefits all. We know that, the ‘Invisible Hand’ humbug, and all the other untruths that flow from it, to be absolutely false, yet it and all the other mendacious dogma of neo-liberal capital are the de facto state religion of the West, imposed with calculated brutality and indifference to human suffering, everywhere. We fret and groan under the burden of living while the biosphere crumbles around us, yet we still mostly concern ourselves with secondary symptoms, while the primary lesion, capitalism, is rarely criticised. Indeed much of the climate rationalist movement preaches ‘accommodation’ with the cancer, ‘using its power’ to set things right, which is utter madness. The capitalist cancer knows no other modus operandi but growth and destruction in the service of feeding an entire planet down the maw of the insatiably greedy. Either it goes, by excision, chemotherapy, radiation-by any means available-or we, its host, go.

  31. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    Byron, you must join the Defarge Society. We are compiling a list…

  32. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    From the point of view of climate, the Obama Administration has been an ‘obamination’. And we are meant to be scared of Romney, who, while being almost certainly worse, can only be marginally worse. It’s ‘Democracy without Choices’ yet again.

  33. Chris Winter says:

    You refer, of course, to Madame Defarge, the tricoteuse from Dickens’s a Tale of Two Cities, who sat knitting beside the guillotine during the French Revolution.

  34. Chris Winter says:

    Well written and nobly delivered, Joe.

    You should fix up the transcript and post it under a permalink somewhere.

  35. Alex says:

    I’ve long wanted to start constructing a Wall of Infamy of climate obstructionists whereby notable politicians get their names added and never taken off so that all those who come after us know precisely who was responsible.

  36. Mike 22 says:

    Honest and compelling. Thank you.

  37. Merrelyn Emery says:

    I wonder how long it will be before they realize that Chief Seattle got it right, ME

  38. Merrelyn Emery says:

    I wonder how long it will be before they realize that Chief Seattle got it right, ME

  39. Mike Heath says:

    Anyone know how many Republican members of this committee were in attendance during Dr. Romm’s testimony?

  40. Gail says:

    Lori, or anyone else with the same question, I think local direct actions are key. The politicians are owned by the corporations, as is the media. Here’s a great example of people against fracking in PA: http://witsendnj.blogspot.com/2012/07/earthfirst-this-is-how-its-done_19.html

    Next week, I’m going to shut-down a mountaintop removal strip mine in WVa. (RAMPS)

    There are many others. You are right, it’s past the time to consume differently, and time to actually do something.

  41. Dick Smith says:

    Thank you very much. FYI, I’m joining 20 ordinary citizens from Wisconsin and about another 130 more from the rest of the country to lobby for a fee-and-dividend carbon tax next week. We have meetings scheduled with almost 300 members of Congress and/or their energy advisors. We aren’t going away. Back home, we are organized by congressional districts. We are working to develop long-term relationships with the members, with local opinion leaders and with ours (and their) local media. If any of your readers want to help, just go to Citizens Climate Lobby website. You can read what NASA’s James Hansen had to say about CCL–on whose advisory board he now serves.

  42. Roger says:

    Kudos to you, Joe!

    Now let’s get Obama to speak out!

  43. Leif says:

    I have been out of the internet loop for a month,(over 4,000 miles of driving), in/on a Honda FIT “Camper” trip up the AlCan and across the “Top of the World Highway,” mostly gravel, close to the Arctic circle. ( by far most of the Al-Can is paved and fine driving with little traffic. (Often drive for 10+ minutes and not see a car.) About 5 or 6 hundred of those miles north showed significant Bark Battle damage. ((~80%?) Unscientific observation.) I am proud to have you as spokesperson on the front lines Joe. Thank You.

    Two Palms Up,
    Leif

  44. Artful Dodger says:

    Sadly, events of the day in Aurora, CO once again overshadow the crime of the millennium… I wonder where Batman stands on AGW?

  45. Mauri Pelto says:

    That was excellent testimony. The best or your’s that you have alerted us to.

  46. Jan says:

    Both Dr. Romm and Rep. Markey made a strong case for fires/climate change. Unfortunately, most of the panel showcased the myth that the blame for the fires belongs to environmentalists who oppose thinning (aka logging) forests.

    That it is a myth found here..http://www.earthfirst.org/forestthinning.htm

  47. Lori says:

    Thanks Erica, I’ll check this out!

  48. Dirk says:

    Thank you for me too. However, I do wish they would design a better site. Information is scattered and less than clear and the next call page/form told me about a call in February 2012! Perhaps they will let me help with that too.

  49. Joe Romm says:

    I think about 6, give or take 1. People come in and out a lot.

  50. Scott Mandia says:

    Standing ovation!

  51. RedFox says:

    You’re awesome, Joe Romm!

    I want to be hearing LOTS more of this truth telling, to Congress AND on National TV.

    That’s all…

  52. fj says:

    Good speech and great points made but could have been much stronger such as more emphasis that the United States must accept the dire reality and expect to be pummeled by increasingly more climate change Pearl Harbors in the very near future even as we must act immediately with great vigor on accelerating environmental collapse at wartime speed to secure our survival.

  53. DRT says:

    Thanks Joe!! I have one small suggestion. Next time can you remove the devil’s spawn that is the plastic water bottle and replace it with your own reusable canteen (presuming security would allow you to bring in such a thing).

    Thanks Again!

  54. fj says:

    We are in the midst of a life-and-death emergency demanding immediate action with wartime urgency.

  55. Brian R Smith says:

    Joe, I thought your opening statement was a terrifically effective redirect of the story in the room, and masterfully written for the purpose.

    I caught the CSPAN-2 rerun of the full hearing later in the day. You & Ed Markey pulled no punches, or Baseball metaphors, in the Q&A, and hopefully got through to the Members that the climate context ain’t going away. Excellent!

  56. Joe Romm says:

    Thanks. I’ll repost some of that exchange Sunday.

  57. Martin Palmer says:

    I just watched most of the video of the entire hearing.

    It seems obvious that the Republican leadership was following a strategy of time limitation, diversion, and focusing on specifics to push crony and disaster capitalist “solutions” to the problem.

    Their answer to increasing wildfires due to climate change? Thin forests- without knowing or apparently caring where the carbon in those forests ends up, how long it is sequestered, or whether their crony capitalist solutions are carbon positive, neutral, or negative.

    Markey was a breath of fresh air, as was your testimony, Joe. Markey and you kept pointing out that there was an underlying cause to the wildfires, while the Republican leadership wanted to limit testimony, and use the time limits and artificial anxiety about everyone making their plane flights to limit testimony.

    Thank you for all you do, Joe. That hearing was maddening, and makes me ashamed to be a human being.

  58. Tucker!

    Don’t mince words. Why don’t you tell us how you really feel?

  59. Lori,

    Forget the Prius. Buy a bike and ride it every time you can. (Always wear your helmet.) Join your local car-free association.

    Stop using your dryer. Use a clothesline or a rack in the bathtub and tell everyone why you’re doing it.

    Join 350.org. You are not alone.

  60. Michael Ashley says:

    Superb speech Joe, well done!

    Historians in 100 years will know that at least some people understood the science and tried to prevent the catastrophe.

  61. perceptiventity says:

    This weeks episode features a seminal Noam Chomsky lecture from 1970 entitled ‘Government In The Future’.

    http://fromalpha2omega.podomatic.com/player/web/2012-07-13T18_35_55-07_00

    He might still be called the “left gate keeper” but still …

  62. fj says:

    There seems to be emerging a general consciousness that we must very soon embark on a powerful quest for survival . . . perhaps, as the prime directive . . .

    Intense integration with natural capital where human capital in the most important component . . .

  63. fj says:

    It is very important to start to put a face on the great transition upon us . . .

    Those tens of trillions of dollars in resources yearly given to the fossil fuel industry are extremely dangerous, totally wasteful and self-destructive and must come to an end . . .

  64. Christopher says:

    Burning Down the House

    “The era of procrastination, of half-measures, of soothing and baffling expedients, of delays, is coming to its close. In its place we are entering a period of consequences.” Winston Churchill 1936 speech to House of Commons

    http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/07/13/turning-a-coal-mines-gas-problem-into-a-ski-resorts-co2-and-energy-solution/?comments#permid=22:2

    Mr. Romm and readers, “what ought we to do?”

    I offered the linked response to a recent post on Dot Earth. Mr. Schendler, the subject of the DE post, responded with the following question: “I appreciate your cynicism but would ask you this question: “If a business like ours cared about solving climate change, would ought we do?””

    Joe Romm, readers? Maybe a couple of posts here at climate progress could explore what we can do?

    – individuals
    – governments
    – corporations

  65. John Mason says:

    Cross-posted to SkS, because had I seen this earlier I’d have said the same –

    Good on Joe. It is high time we ditched the euphemisms and stopped pussyfooting about. We hung along for too long with the Banking industry – bowing to calls for deregulation etc – and look exactly where that has gotten us too. If that’s not a wake-up call to us ordinary folk, what will it take?

    It’s a brilliant world out there – under tremendous strain – but it is still managing, just about. Let’s do everything in our power, however small that may be, to further the simple cause of wanting a brilliant world for our children and grandchildren and not a toxic, polluted mess where the last ‘consumers’ wander about looking for the last bargains. We can do this, folks – if we speak with one voice (and not a World Socialist Government voice, before anyone starts) – just the voice of the people, who love their gardens, the wildlife around them, getting their hands dirty with the soil of the land and who hate all the form-filling, box-ticking nonsense that is the facade of dealing with the biggest issue of our lives when pretence is the order of the day. I would rather see children knowing 100 plant-names and recognising 50 different butterflies by the age of ten – as I did many years ago – than knowing 400 brand-names by the age of five. That’s just one aspect, but I hope people will see where I’m coming from!

    My best wishes – John

  66. SqueakyRat says:

    They will never realize it.

  67. Excellent, to the point, memorable speech, very powerful despite the limited time given.

    But what all of us should remember (Joe already is aware) is something that came to mind before seeing the following comment but which it underlines:

    “Really liked the speech Joe but looking at these Senators, did you think it made any difference in their mindset?”

    I’m afraid we’ll all MISS THE POINT if the focus on changing mindsets. Maybe I’m taking the quote too literally, but many other comments spoke about waking up, energizing etc, our Congress..and that is an important goal..and which the speech by Joe Romm is a powerful push in that direction..but it’s not the only or even the main one.

    If their mindsets change, but the system doesn’t, it’s game over. If they agree with us in their hearts but know that if they act they will be out spent 5 or 7 or 10 to one and defeated by misleading ads funded by Koch, and if they know that even if they survived, the chances of enough others in Congress acting is vanishingly small, then the “Rational, logical” think for them to do is to continue being the “lesser evil” at best, in the types of way-too-compromised legislative “compromises” they vote for.

    We have to change the cost / benefit system within which they live.

    If we change that, we’d get better laws even if inside their skulls they are hoping to destroy the world, because the cost/benefit would push them to pass, instead, saner legislation.

    But if we keep the existing cost/benefit environment, atmosphere(!) in which Congress lives, then even if inside their skulls they have a very well-meaning “mindset” which we changed, then the laws passed will be…well, look at the last 30 or 40 years of ever more corporate-right-reactionary policies…

    Let’s all join together to change the system, the cost/benefit, the laws, the underlying “logic” which is moving the world in an omnicidal direction. Everything – laws, legal frameworks, the economic model itself, should be on the table.

  68. nyc-tornado-10 says:

    Glad to hear that the truth can still be spoken in congress, it is pleasently surprising, congradulations on a great speach!

  69. Humans will be extinct, and the earth will be recovering from the “anthropocene,” the geologic era of man’s domination. New species will be evolving to replace those destroyed by us — they will be adapted to a much warmer world with acidified oceans. Overall biodiversity will be reduced, but life will go on.

    .

  70. Martin Palmer says:

    What should we do with the forests?

    Thin them, and fire protect them, I think, but do it carefully and with careful accounting of where the carbon actually ends up and for how long. Several people in the hearing mentioned how the Apache Native American tribes are managing their forests successfully. What are they doing, and is what they are doing effective?

    Turn the harvested biomass into biochar on the spot and bury it, there in the forests, is another option. This would have to be done without injection of black carbon into the atmosphere. It might be possible to generate some electricity from the hydrogen content of the biomass, doing this. So, a distributed network of biochar producing small plants outfitted with catalytic converters mounted on semi trailers might kl

    Or sell it to coal fired power plants to displace coal, and especially if those plants have been retrofitted for carbon capture and storage.

    Both of these options would be carbon negative, and would put forest carbon back underground. The last option could also be economically profitable.

    Another option is controlled burning in the spring and fall, and using that to inject carbon in the form of charcoal down into the soil over the long term. This option requires more study to see if it would actually work. I’ve seen a modeling paper on it that seemed to indicate that it would not work. But the modeling option that would allow injection of carbon as charcoal into the soil was turned off. Turning off this option was done to allow equilibrium modeling conditions to exist for technical reasons involving computer modeling.

    Long-term effects of fire frequency on carbon storage and productivity of boreal forests: a modeling study

    Well, we don’t want an equilibrium, we want the soil to accumulate carbon.

    So, it still seems possible that repeated small fires when runaway wildfire risk is low could accumulate charcoal and build soil carbon over the long term.

    This is a question that we urgently need to know the answer to- could controlled burning when wildfire risk is low significantly increase soil carbon? What do the experts say?

  71. Rita says:

    The free market is choking itself by causing monopolization. Than we’ll have a non-democracy that will forego economic growth as an aim (because the elite will be fixed, it will own almost everything and it will not need growth to become more powerful).
    Than, fight against climate change may become much easier. So, the debt crisis, with the huge power concentration it is causing and the consequent free market death, may come to the rescue of the climate.

  72. Mike says:

    Well done. Great moral high ground from which to address other important issus like the long-term renewal of the production tax credit for wind,tar sands pipelines, sea level rise in North Carolina, and on and on and on.

  73. Rita says:

    Learn how to live without fossil fuels, and teach others how to do it. It involves practicing alternative medicine, natural hygiene, natural farming, natural cosmetics, natural family planning etc. Extensive knowledge of life before fossil fuels is very helpful and difficult to find!

  74. Rita says:

    Revolution? Nationalize wealth, especially land, and redistribute it. So there will be no more idle elite, the urban unemployed will earn a living from land, and deurbanization will help with climate change.

    The alternative is (what is happening now) that when the 1%, mostly with the help of debt crisis, has gained the most of power, it will impose austerity on the 99% without care for economic growth.
    Both ways fight climate change, the question is which is faster?