Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Five Years?

We Got Five Years? by Louis Vassmer, Pres., PWA

There is a sublime song by David Bowie which was written in the early 70s called, Five Years. It is about a dying planet, “...News had just come over..We had five years left to cry in...He said ‘earth was really dying.” It is a terrifying song, yet it is something we may have to face someday.

Global climate change is real. Tipping points across the global ecosystem are showing ominous signs and change. The peer reviewed evidence is overwhelming. 97% if scientists and most scientific organization have stated and agree the changes are in large part due to aerosols, fossil fuel combustion, massive deforestation around the globe, methane release from landfills and agriculture, a growing world world population and so on. This is not a hoax, not a plot to destroy capitalism or to make Al Gore rich. This is reality.

Yes, we can turn off lights when leaving a room, drive less and walk more, eat local and do all the things which are “green.” These things are to be commended but it won’t solve the bigger problem. So, while you worry about reusing a paper cup, BP is dumping mercury into Lake Michigan, 1.584 pounds of ammonia and 4,924 pounds of sludge into the lake every single day! This is backed and approved by the EPA. Yes, that EPA. The body which is supposed to support the environment and our drinking water.

We need to pressure Congress, the President and industry to invoke national and earthwide change in manufacturing, what kinds of energy we use, how we grow our food, investing in family planning and education, etc. Sure, it’s a huge complex problem. We can tackle it if there is a real will of the people. In the end, we’ll gain in clean air, water and sustainable habitats. If not, someday in the distant future, we may only have five more years.