Carolyn on Environment

Just as we judge prior generations for their failure to recognize human rights, I think that future generations will judge us for our failure to address the environment and climate change. I have a 6 year old son and I’ve started to think about what his future is going to look like.

One prediction is that given the rate of the bleaching of our coral reefs, we will lose 90% of our coral reefs by 2050 and that this will produce a catastrophic destruction of ocean life and this also will produce a massive disruption of our food chain and loss of fisheries. My son will be in his 30s when this happens.  

We already face increased flooding on our coasts, but by 2100 experts predict we will lose most of southern Florida and coastal cities around the world will be underwater. We will either need to make massive investments in infrastructure to stave off flooding or will have to deal with huge population resettlement. My son will be old – late eighties - by the time the full effects are felt but the growing impact will affect his day to day life in ways we cannot fully predict. 

Meanwhile, our government is subsidizing the destruction of our planet. The US provides $20.5 billion in subsidies to the fossil fuel industry each year.  I see a place to start to balance our budget. We must reinstate the Paris Climate Accord which calls for an 80% reduction in carbon emissions by 2050 and align our energy policy and investments to meet these goals. 

 

 

Jane Gimian