Disrupting the ecosystem of denial and building a culture of responsibility – Part 1

April 22, 2012

How can climate science denial continue to exist, in the face of so much evidence?  To get to the answer, I think we have to ask a different question:  How can the rest of us – the majority who accept the reality of climate science – continue to act as though we don’t believe it?

We’re all climate deniers now.  We’re functioning (kinda) in an elaborate ecosystem of denial, playing roles that keep the whole freak show working.   (The Discovery Channel’s Frozen Planet series  – which lavishly documents polar thawing while avoiding any discussion of the causes of climate change – is a conspicuous example.)

Since Jim Hansen’s landmark testimony to Congress on climate change in 1988, we have all had to adapt to life in the enormous chasm between what is physically and morally necessary to address the climate crisis and what we are in fact doing.  The dissonance between the conclusions of climate scientists and the scale of our response is intolerable, so something has to give.

For most people, what gives is engagement.  They just avoid the subject.  For those of us who work on climate and don’t have the option to disengage, managing the dissonance sometimes feels like walking a tightrope, with despair on one side and insanity on the other.

Every day, hundreds of things happen around us that would not be happening if we were remotely serious about preventing catastrophic climate change.  Every day, each of us does things that rational people would not be doing if they fully accepted the moral challenge that climate disruption presents.   And all those things become part of the cognitive infrastructure of our own denial and everyone else’s.

The scariest thing about the ecosystem of denial is how it reinforces itself — how each act of denial makes every other act of denial more likely and inescapable, in a vicious circle.  But the converse is also true.  Every act of responsibility helps reverse the circle, making every other responsible act more plausible.

So with this post begins a new feature of GRIP in which we’ll focus on reversing the toxic cycle of denial and inaction, replacing it with a healthy cycle of responsibility and action.

I will shine an unforgiving (but not humorless!) light on our complicity in denial.  The ecosystem of denial functions best in darkness, so relentless daylight can wither it.  (We’ll have fun with this, I promise.  Because denial isn’t just scary, it’s a hoot!  And we all do it, so we’ll be laughing with, not at each other.)

But documenting our role in denial is less than half the battle.  Denial has necessary functions that cannot be eliminated:  It is a psychological bridge, spanning the abyss between the dimensions of the climate crisis and the dimensions of our demonstrated willingness to deal with it.  So the ecosystem of denial cannot simply be named and removed;  nobody wants to dive into that abyss.

The ecosystem of denial must be replaced by something better – a culture of responsibility.    More on that in Part 2.


Disrupting the ecosystem of denial and building a culture of responsibility – Part 2

April 22, 2012

Using a conventional model of cause and effect, we act as though climate science denial were the primary obstacle to action.   Following that model, we foster understanding of facts, hoping that action will follow.

But it turns out that the relationship between denial and inaction is circular, not linear.  Inaction is both an effect and a cause of denial.

I often come back to the most illuminating result we ever got in a focus group, from the woman who said to us, “I don’t think climate change is a big issue, because nobody’s doing anything about it.”  She made the eminently logical inference that if it were really as bad as all that, the responsible authorities would be doing something.

This is roughly the logic I used to cope with the election of 2000.  I remember thinking:  “The election can’t have been stolen.  I don’t even want to look at the evidence for that, because if it were true, then we would be in open revolt.  And we’re not, and it’s not my job to declare a revolt.  So it must be ok.”  Did I really believe that, on the basis of looking at the evidence and arriving at a conclusion?  Of course not.  I refused to look at the evidence, because in the absence of collective will to deal responsibly with the implications of any other conclusion, I just couldn’t handle it.

The only thing that would have overcome my denial was engaging in a serious effort to deal responsibly with the consequences of a stolen election.   I needed a mode and a culture of responsibility to be a part of, and I didn’t see one.  (It was there, of course.  It just didn’t seem very robust, or scaled to the challenge.  Besides, denial was a lot easier, and it seemed to be working for everyone else, and I had this other big, scary, intractable reality on my hands.)

But there is an emerging culture of responsibility for climate solutions.  It’s everywhere.  It rocks.  You can build it, today.  You don’t have to extinguish denial first. It’s not like a 12 step process, where you have to get all the way through step 1 before beginning steps 2-12.  Fully having the problem may not be possible until we get real about solving it.  I know, it sounds like a Catch-22.   Just start.   Ask questions later.

So this feature in GRIP will focus both on exposing our own role in denial, and celebrating the growing profusion of a culture of responsibility.  Our global and national institutions don’t seem to be up to the task, but in communities everywhere, people are finding ways to just do solutions.  Their efforts are delivering more than carbon reduction, more than the many economic, environmental, and social “co-benefits” of solutions.  They are defying and disrupting the ecosystem of denial.  They are making it more possible to believe that the problem and the solutions are real.

Will this growing, distributed uprising of solutions “add up” to carbon reduction at scale?  No.  But it can multiply up.  It will help reverse the vicious circle of denial and inaction, turning it into a virtuous circle of responsibility and solutions.   Each action will make every other action more plausible, more likely, more hopeful.   And if we can build a fully functioning culture of responsibility, it just might make what’s necessary seem possible.

More to come.


RePower Bainbridge: You can’t keep a good island down

April 16, 2012

There’s something prophetic about Bainbridge Island’s brilliant community energy project, RePower Bainbridge.  Watch a short, sweet video on it here.

Faced with the prospect of needing a new power substation to handle peak loads – a big, costly, ugly piece of conventional energy infrastructure – the community mobilized for something better.  They insulated.  They retrofitted.  And most of all, they connected in ways that made costly new energy infrastructure unnecessary while making life on the island better.

As the clean energy revolution gets underway, we will face many choices like this, where the old way means adding expensive new capacity.  Traffic volumes will increase, so there will be pressure to build more roads.  Growth in energy consumption – especially in Asia – creates pressure to add new power plants.   And most of the traditional answers involve huge expenditures of capital on equipment or infrastructure that lasts for a very long time.

Trouble is, we are out of time for that.  The International Energy Agency’s new World Energy Outlook  sounds an urgent alarm on this point:  continued expansion of long-lived fossil fuel infrastructure will make it impossible to prevent catastrophic, irreversible climate disruption.

So we must all do what Bainbridge is doing.  Every time we run up against the “need” for a major new piece of conventional energy or transportation infrastructure, we need to rethink the problem and find a better way.

And every chance we get, we need to spread the good word when people do.  RePower Bainbridge and more great Solution Stories are profiled here.


Dad, seriously, WTF is up with coal export? Are you in it to win it?

April 16, 2012

….because adults aren’t allowed to say it, and kids can’t afford to leave it unsaid….

Dad,

I’m worried about you.  You are up against some beasts in this coal export battle.  Are you and your green buddies up to this Pops?

I mean, these coal dudes may not be the sharpest tools in the shed, but they got some nerve on ‘em.  Just look at what they’re proposing to do!  They want to dig up half of Montana, load it on trains and run it through the heart of Ecotopia, right over your organic butt, and ship it all off to Asia and burn it…. 140 million tons a year of black rocks – over 100 lbs. a day for every man, woman, and child in the state of Washington.   X-treme carbonicity!

If you and your renewable energy pals were serious about competing at this level, you’d be trying to turn all of Oklahoma into a national solar park, and reassigning Senator Inhofe to an internship with  Jim Hansen!  And while you’re at it, maybe you could bring Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook back to Rain City, so they can throw down sick dunks like this on Mr. Peabody when he tries to come into our house!

For real Daaad, who you gonna beat with stuff like this hefty tome analyzing how coal export will substantially increase global carbon emissions?  OK, so you did your homework, but do you actually think anyone is going to read that?  The coal guys don’t get an economist to analyze the impacts of their decisions.  They just trot out some marketing flak to make stuff up.  Here’s Peabody’s Senior VP for Investor Relations, quoted in Nat Geo of all places:  “It’s safe to say that not one more pound of coal will be used in Asia because of this terminal.”

See how it works Dad? While you put everybody to sleep with your thorough analysis, the coal dudes just go “It’s safe to say…!”  So what if it defies the laws of economics, all the available evidence, and any shred of moral responsibility?  It’s clear.  It’s definitive It’s short.  And it helps everybody forget about this nasty subject and talk about something else.  Snap!

Moxie, Dad, cajones.

If you even want to play on the same court with these guys, you need to rethink your obsession with the truth.  Coal folks know that nobody likes coal.  So — like the elephant that wore a green felt hat so it could sneak across pool tables without anyone noticing — they talk about other stuff!  Here’s the website for their proposal to build the largest coal terminal in North America.  “Coal”?  What coal? I don’t see any coal.  Just a “new and highly efficient way to ship dry bulk commodities.”  Sweet!

But they’re not just shifty.  They’re mean.  These guys will mow down the hopes and dreams of anyone who stands in their way.  In Bellingham, they say folks are “desperate” for jobs.  So just chill B’ham and take a few hundred jobs shovelling coal, and kiss the 10,000 jobs that might come with a proposed waterfront redevelopment goodbye, because nobody’s going to build it in a dirty old coal town.

This is Bellingham they’re talking smack to!  Where the biggest business association is Sustainable Connections!  Repeat winner of the Green Power Leadership award!  A proud NRDC Smarter City!  Nah nah, say the coal guys, put away those green dreams and just get used to life as a resource colony for Asia’s industrial sector.  You’re so down and out, you need to cash it all in and settle for a future that looks like Newport News, VA, or Newcastle Australia.

Oh, and Dad, in case you thought your opponents have any shame, now they’re trying to market coal export as a green thing because U.S. coal has less sulfur and ash (sort of)!  Wow.  I stand in awe.  They’ve got the nerve to say it’s good for the environent when they ship mountains of coal to support construction of power plants that will foreclose “forever” any hope of preventing catastrophic climate change .  (Hey, I know, let’s send American plutonium to Iran so they won’t have to deal with so much dirty processing and nuclear waste!  Mondo Eco, dude!)

Does King Coal have a brain?  A heart?  Not clear.  But tell you what, they got a pair!

Dad, please. buck up.  These guys aren’t screwing around.  They’ve got a gun pointed straight at the future’s head.  Are you just going to stand there in your little beanie with the solar-powered propeller on top singing Pete Seeger songs, or are you going to DO SOMETHING?

With love despite my deep doubts about your generation’s commitment to mine,

Your kid


Book it: Billy and Dev’s “Making Good”

April 16, 2012

Whenever I speak at high schools or colleges, I quote Van Jones:  “Only your generation is diverse enough, loving enough, determined enough, and connected enough to meet the true moral challenge that we face.”  I believe that.  But I also feel a little like a heel when I say it — like I’m making excuses for my generation’s failure to deal!

But now I can deliver more than exhortations to Gen Next.  I tote copies of Making Good:  Finding Meaning, Money and Community in a Changing World.  

When I think of Van’s “Only your generation….” quote, I think of Billy Parish, one of the co-authors of Making Good.  He’s also a founder of Solar Mosaic, a crowd-financing tool for solar that shows how distributed solutions and social networking can disrupt old systems and dissolve barriers to energy transformation.

Making Good is a powerful antidote to cynicism and a great practical resource.  I’m sending copies to my kids and young friends.  I hope I understand half the new ways they’ll create to win collectively and thrive individually.  And for the other half, I’ll try to stay out of the way!


Home is where the solutions are

April 16, 2012

Of all Amory Lovins’ memorable quips, this might be my favorite:   “Personal mobility is a symptom….of being in the wrong place.” 

In “Circumference of Home:  One Man’s Yearlong Quest for a Radically Local Life,”   Kurt Hoelting makes a very strong case that the Pacific Northwest is not the wrong place.  Kurt’s a commercial fisherman, a kayak guide, and a seeker who couldn’t abide the contradiction between his professed commitment to climate solutions and his fossil-fueled mobility.  So he spent a year within a 100 miles of his home on Whidbey Island, travelling by bike, foot, kayak, and public transportation.

He found a lot more than a lower carbon footprint.   He discovered something you won’t generally find in “Stabilization Wedges” or other descriptions of climate solutions.  He found home, and his story of how he got there leaves you with a strong sense that the road from here to real climate solutions starts and ends there.

Kurt’s website Inside Passages, continues his journey home, exploring the personal, political, and spiritual dimensions of climate solutions.


Purple orca: “Our coal is cleaner”

April 14, 2012

Give them an A for audacity and an F for factiness.

Coal export proponents are making the case that shipping vast amounts Powder River Basin (PRB) coal to Asia will improve air quality, because it’s lower in sulfur and ash than most of the coal Asia currently uses.  Seriously.

Now, I can see the sense in a good healthy discussion about the job impacts of coal export.  Coal export opponents should welcome that discussion, because blighting our communities with huge volumes of low-value, high-impact resource export traffic is a lousy jobs strategy.  Still, it’s a legitimate debate, so let’s have it.

But are they really going to try to sell coal export as a green thing?   King Coal has a bottomless “communications” budget for this effort, but there’s not a marketing consultant in the world who could sell that load of, um, coal.

Sightline Institute examined the “cleaner coal” claim and found that all coal is, by any reasonable standard, dirty.  (See p. 5 of Coal Export FAQ here. Then read the rest of it.)  While PRB coal is somewhat lower in sulfur and ash than other types of coal, it is also lower in energy content, so you have to burn more of it to get the same amount of work done.

So if Asia displaced some of its current supplies with PRB coal, sulfur dioxide emissions would be reduced a little.  But this herring is beyond red.  (Wait, maybe we shouldn’t use herring, since the Cherry Point terminal would hammer their most important spawning grounds.  Anyway, herring are way too small to convey the scale of the deception.  Hence Purple Orca.)

I don’t want to diminish the importance of local air quality, but honestly, it’s just not in the same league as the devastating global climate disruption  that will be unavoidable if the fast-growing Asian economies continue to build out coal infrastructure to power their growth.  And opening up a mainline to PRB coal would certainly encourage that outcome.  Justifying this on the grounds that it will reduce sulfur emissions is almost like saying we should ship plutonium to Iran because our enrichment facilities have much better environmental safeguards then theirs.

And let’s be clear, coal export means that more coal will be burned.  I know what you’re thinking:  “If we don’t sell them our coal, won’t they’ll just get it from somewhere else?  Won’t it be a wash, climate-wise?” It’s a fair question, but the answer is no.

Former University of Montana Economics Chair Tom Power explains why here.  We can expect the industry to hire consultants to argue otherwise, but I don’t think they’ll want to talk much about this:  The notion that it doesn’t matter whether we let our region become a hub for global coal trafficking isn’t just economically unsound; it’s ethically indefensible.  We are talking about whether to feed a practice that we know to be an epic disaster in the making.   No matter what anyone else does, it’s not right.

No one wants Asians or anyone else to have to breathe sulfur dioxide pollution.  Does Asia “deserve” the chance to develop using coal, as we did, without choking their cities with pollution?  Well, they certainly deserve it as much as we do.  But as Clint Eastwood said in The Unforgiven, “’Deserve’s got nothing to do with it.”  If they develop long-lived, capital-intensive coal-powered energy infrastructure for 2 billion more people, we are all toast.

So look, there are at least 2 ways to approach cleaning up the air in Asian cities:

1) Send them low sulfur coal, which may have a modest near-term local benefit, while facilitating infrastructure investments that will make it impossible to avert catastrophic climate change.

or

2) Invest in efficiency and accelerate the transition from fossil fuels to clean energy here, in China and India, everywhere.  This would do a much better job of cleaning urban air.  Oh and BTW, it would open a pathway to sustainable prosperity instead of foreclosing any hope of a secure future with a safe climate.  Nice bonus!


“Above our pay grade”? Scoping the impacts of coal export

April 12, 2012

The great coal export debate now enters a crucial phase, known in environmental policy as “scoping.”  In evaluating whether to grant permits for coal export, which impacts will decision-makers consider?

Another way of asking the question is, “Which impacts will they ignore?”  The health, safety, and economic costs of the massive increases in coal train traffic throughout the region?  The environmental damage and national economic consequences  of selling coal from public lands at a fraction of its market value for use overseas?   The “Hell and High Water” that will result from expanding coal-fired power infrastructure in Asia, which would be encouraged by coal export from the U.S.?

I know, it’s a lot.  When Cowlitz County Commissioners initially approved the Millenium coal export terminal in Longview without meaningful environmental review, The Oregonian said the Commissioners could be “excused for thinking these issues are above their pay grade.”  After all, they reasoned, it would make a lot more sense for the nations of the world to adopt responsible limits on climate pollution.  We shouldn’t expect local decision makers to have to think about that.

I have a great deal of empathy for that point of view.  The failure to forge a strong national and global commitment to forestall dangerous climate change is unconscionable.  It’s unfair, inappropriate, crazy that state and local officials are charged with decisions that have huge, irreversible global consequences, without the benefit of any meaningful national climate policy or a binding global treaty.

We can whine about this predicament all day, and I’ll lead the chorus.   But it won’t change anything.   We are standing on the tracks with a long, dirty future of coal trains coming our way.  I wish it weren’t happening.  I wish world leaders would have done what was right and necessary to forge a strong global climate deal in Copenhagen.  I wish the Senate had passed a climate bill.  I wish I wish I wish…..but here we still are, dammit.  So do we look at the real impacts, or just keep wishing?

It’d be different (and awesome!) if closing our eyes to the impacts would make them disappear.  But “see no evil” just means more evil.  And don’t fool yourself about where the impacts happen; “global” warming is a local disaster.  It will hammer Washington’s snowpack, our agriculture, our forests, Puget Sound – pretty much everything that depends on our stable, temperate climate.  It doesn’t matter if the emissions occur in Asia.  In fact, it would be worse, since their power plants are not subject to Washington and Oregon’s carbon emission performance standard.  So we’d be selling coal from public land to be burned with lower carbon emission standards than our own, when the effect of those emissions on Northwesterners will be identical, regardless of whether they occur in Centralia or Shanghai.  It’s ugly, but ignoring it will only make it more likely to happen.

This scoping issue goes to core psychology of the global climate challenge.  Nobody feels like they have any meaningful leverage on a problem this big.  Anyone can say “even if I do everything in my power, it won’t make a dent.”  And if we don’t feel qualified to fix it, why bother considering it?   If world leaders won’t get a grip, what the heck am I supposed to do about it?

Maybe it would help to look back from the eyes of our grandkids, whose lives will be dominated by the struggle to cope with runaway climate disruption if we fail to deal.  Will our pleas of impotence cut it with them?

They will know that we could have dealt with this.   We can address the problem responsibly, effectively, and economically with an aggressive global transition from fossil fuels to clean energy. So if each of us says, “Yeah, but it’s not my job description; it’s not within my scope,” will that let us off the hook?

Coal export would move vast amounts of carbon into the global energy market and ultimately into the atmosphere.  At the levels currently proposed, each day’s CO2 emissions from burning this coal would roughly equal the combined body weight of every man, woman, and child in Washington and Oregon.  Measured in global climate impact, this is far and away the biggest thing we will ever do – enough to swamp all our good clean energy initiatives combined.

Teddy Roosevelt said:  “Do what you can with what you’ve got wherever you are.”  If everybody does that, and we forge a responsible plan to do it together, we can rise to the climate challenge.  If some of us do it and others don’t, we may fail.

But when our grandkids judge how we handled the climate impacts of these coal export decisions, who wants to be the one to tell them “We didn’t look at that.  It was out of our scope”?


Dad, seriously, WTF is up with “all of the above”?

April 10, 2012

….because adults won’t say it, and kids can’t afford to leave it unsaid…..

Dad,

Remember how you made me sit and watch that Black-Eyed Peas video of Yes We Can over and over again?  Remember how you blubbered for like a month after President Obama was elected?

So Dad, dude, how did we get from there to an “All of the above” energy policy?  That was the other guy’s platform!

I saw Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Scarlett Johansson singing Yes We Can in that video.  (Uh-huh, that worked for you, didn’t it?)   But I did not see John McCain singing “Yes We Can drill everywhere.”   So now does “all of the above” mean “Yes We Can…..do any crazy stuff that anybody wants to do?”  Sweet!  Par-tay, America!

Dad, c’mon, this is your guy, the guy whose freaky blue and red image you plastered all over the fridge and the bathroom walls.  Wasn’t he supposed to get serious about dealing with climate change (finally!).  Were y’all just smokin’ Hope?

BTW Pops, how’s your memory holding out?  Because Mr. All-of-the-above used to be the guy who was going to deliver “the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal.”  His opponents mock him relentlessly for saying this.  Liberal “realists” say it was “extravagant,” “high-flying,” “over-reach.”

But yo!  While you geezers are debating whether this language was “messianic” or just “arrogant,” the rise of the actual oceans is accelerating as we continue to burn more fossil fuels.  Do you have any idea how much this will suck ?  Check out how much it already sucks for Mohamed Nasheed, the President of the Maldives, whose country is all like glub, glub.  You’re worrying whether President Obama needs to tone it down in view of the political realities, but the physical reality of climate disruption is hitting the fan and harshing out my future.

And Daaad, don’t even start in with me about how we have to be patient now and just hold our noses while he says whatever he has to say to get re-elected.  You and all your Politico-heads think you’re sooooo savvy but you’re pathetic; you actually believe you “win” when your candidate gets more votes by adopting the opponent’s position!  Dad, for real, if you bake my planet, do you think I’ll be consoled by the thought that the political alternative might have baked it a little faster?  Geez, if you’re gonna toast us, might as well just do it fast and crispy.  (Oh, and yeah dog, don’t bother trying to get me to ride a bike the next time I ask for the car keys.)

I know the President’s campaign team has polled the living crap out of “all of the above” and I’m sure it kills.  (Duh.  It’s like asking a Reese’s junkie whether she wants peanut butter or chocolate.)  But maybe they could just qualify it a little , like, “All of the above….except stuff that leads to a climate future that ‘is incompatible with an organized global community, is likely to be beyond ‘adaptation’, is devastating to the majority of ecosystems, and has a high probability of not being stable’.”

Because, y’know, that might suck enough to justify rethinking a few of the above.  Huh, Dad?

With love but zero patience,

Your kid


Intergenerational Lip

April 7, 2012

From “Dad, seriously, WTF” … Adults won’t say it, but kids can’t afford to leave it unsaid.

Dear Dad,

We are writing to inform you that you are in breach of the intergenerational contract.

Here’s the deal as we understand it:  You’re a grownup.  We’re the kids.  When really big, scary stuff happens – stuff that, like, directly threatens our well-being and our future prospects – you are supposed to get off your big old butt and deal with it.  And not just in a polite, careful, professional adult kind of way.  If it’s really a big threat, you need to jump all over it with both feet.  It’s pretty basic, and it should be genetically wired:  when a big saber-toothed tiger lunges out of the jungle at your kids, you have to throw your body in front of it.  This is the first provision of the father-child contract.

So Dad, dude, what is UP with the adults and global warmingDid you HEAR how bad it is?  Are you thinking “well, if it were really that bad, the adults would be dealing with it?”  And if you’re thinking that, what are we supposed to think?

As evidence in this proceeding, we submit the testimony of Jim Hansen – America’s pre-eminent climate scientist – before Congress in June of 1988.  Hansen confirmed that global warming was under way; is caused in significant part by humans; and immediate action was necessary.

Daaad, before we were born, the smartest guy around on this stuff said, “Deal with it.”   Since then, the empirical effects of climate disruption – polar ice melt, more frequent intense storms and floods, more devastating forest fires – have come on much more quickly than Hansen predicted.  We’re in college now, and we still have no meaningful national climate policy.  Dad, are you there?  Are you picking your nose or what?

Here’s some more incriminating evidence – the crazy stuff you listen to on the news.  All day long, it’s politicians blaming each other for high gas prices.  They point their fingers in different directions, but they all want to drill more, even the ones who don’t deny global warming.

Ooo, Dad!  You say our music is rough, but that stuff is nasty.  Hasn’t every modern president warned that we’re addicted to oil ?  And that’s a bad thing, right?  Doesn’t oil dependence cause wars, economic decay, and climate devastation?  Gosh dad, you get all worked up when we smoke a little pot, and that just gives you the munchies.

Seriously Dad, our leaders in both parties think increasing oil supply and reducing oil price is the right thing to do?  “Let’s see, this addiction really sucks, so… I’ve got it!  Let’s make the drugs cheaper and see if we can find some more dealers!”

Y’all are droppin’ the ball here, and maybe it would be ok if it were just you but Yo! – kids to adults, kids to adultsyou’re dropping it right on our heads!  Who do you think is going to pay for this mess when your sorry asses are gone… which, by the way, is soon?  Uh-huh, that’d be us, and every day you delay makes solutions more expensive.

Now, this breach in the implied contract between kids and adults is a blanket indictment of your whole generation.  But for YOU in particular, there really is no excuse.  This is not just your generational obligation.  It is your JOB.  It’s what they pay you to do when you go to work at Climate Solutions in the morning.  Do you, in fact, go to work in the morning?  Or do you go play golf?

‘Nuf talk.  We’ll see you in intergenerational court, Pops.  Please be prepared to testify in the matter of Future V. Present.  Be advised that the court will not look favorably on any suggestion that the state of the economy justifies delay on your part.  The economy and the climate suffer from the same disease:  late-stage fossil fuel addiction.  And they need the same treatment:  a clean energy revolution.

Dayad, you should also know that the court takes a very dim view of your self-imposed constraints on what is “politically possible.”  Ignorance of your own power to change the world is no excuse.

With love despite your lameness,

Your kids

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Dear Kids,

Bring it on!  Since you first started whining about this about 4 years ago, some kids are starting to get real.  Check out their awesome Children’s Trust litigation.

C’mon, you snot-nosed brats!  Lawyer up like the big kids and let’s do this!

With love despite your insolence,

Dad


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