If you’ve been reading any of my posts, you know I’m very concerned about the health of our planet. Climate change and its effects are here now and are only going to get worse over the coming years. Based on the most recent assessment by the United Nations, the NY Times reported: Time is Running out to Avert a Harrowing Future. Despite numerous meetings and commitments of countries around the world for the past decade, we are not much closer to addressing what needs to be done to address climate change than we were 20 years ago. This is in spite of major breakthroughs in technology making renewable energy more affordable than fossil fuel energy. Efforts of individuals and corporations to change the way they do things to reduce their carbon footprint are helping, but it is not enough. This is because, despite the progress we’re making, we’re still burning too much fossil fuel and as a result, pumping more CO2 into the atmosphere than ever before. Things are getting worse – not better. And that’s a shame because even if we were to significantly reduce emissions immediately, we would still see decades of global temperature increases because of what we’ve already done. The longer we delay more dramatic action, the worse it will be for our children.
I recently read an editorial article in the NY Times by Thomas Friedman entitled How to Defeat Putin and Save the Planet. In a nutshell, he suggests the United States should take dramatic steps to increase our use of renewable energy sources and thereby reduce our dependence on regimes and autocrats who control vast amounts of fossil fuels, like Putin. Friedman argues that as long as America remains addicted to fossil fuels, our foreign policy and national security will remain at the mercy of “petro-dictators”. In addition to being free from the strangulation of those not friendly to America, dramatically increasing our use of renewables would help reduce the amount of CO2 we pump into the atmosphere every day and reduce the impacts of global warming.
So instead of trying to figure out how to pump more oil out of the ground to offset the boycott of Russian oil (which will lead to higher prices at the pump) we should look to other ways to keep gasoline prices down – like driving 60 miles per hour, or working more from home, and so many other ways we can reduce our consumption of oil. Saving the planet and eliminating the stranglehold “petro-dictators” like Putin have over America, seem like two pretty good reasons to take dramatic steps to increase our use of renewable energy. Much, much better than trying to figure out how to pump more oil, crisis after crisis. Personally, I’d be willing to pay more for gasoline if I knew it would help save the planet and our national security – both of which are threatened by Russia’s unprovoked and unjustified war in Ukraine.
I think Thomas Friedman has some pretty good ideas here. Let’s kill two birds – petro-dictators influence over America & climate change – with one stone, namely aggressively converting to renewable energy sources. Time is running out to avert a harrowing future.