Global Effects

I’m not politely calling it climate change anymore. Call it what it is: global warming. What was the point of the rebranding? Did we think that making the imminent destruction of the planet more palatable would stop corporations from polluting? Were people really confused by the fact that we still have cold winters when the data clearly show that the planet is warming beyond its ability to heal? Anyone other than Jim Onofe, that is.

There are a lot of immediate causes that will be hurt by this transition of power, but if we stop nothing else on his agenda, we must come together to keep the Paris climate agreement intact. Perhaps the big stars of Hollywood and the top climatologists can form an unlikely partnership and create a plan. They need to make this person see that his name will be forever linked with the disasters that will come if we do nothing to stave off that fatal 3.6 more degrees of warming—beyond which all is lost.

And really, the fault will lay on one orange head. It is this one person who has the power to make a difference. To not be the puppet of an oil industry that’s thrashing around like a dying rat destroying everything in its path—but to pave the way for harmony among nations. If we do it, India will do it, China will do it. He could be heralded as the person who saved the earth if he did this one thing. Maybe we could repair all the damage he will do elsewhere, but not if the planet is beyond healing.

He’ll be long gone by 2050 when things start to really spin out of control, but his children won’t. Nor will his grandchildren. What if he knew that they would be walking around, the scourge of all nations for what their father had failed to do to stop global warming? With a simple refocusing of that power and vision, he could be viewed as a savior instead.

Too much to hope for? The alternative is unthinkable. The path he’s on is destructive for every living thing from pole to pole. Old friends tell me to give him a chance. Well, I am. Prove me wrong, and I will be thrilled to eat nothing but crow for the next four years. My fragile ego can handle it. Surely his great big one can.

My parents, Garrison Keillor, and his 90-year-old high school teachers tell me not to worry. This is 1968 all over again and the pendulum will swing back the other way. But I’m afraid this time the pendulum has swung out of orbit. How can we be placated with the idea that this person is no worse than Richard Nixon? Richard Nixon helped create the EPA. Our president-elect has vowed to dismantle it.

O future children:
Trouble is coming; the world as of the present time
Sails on its rocks; but you will be born and live
Afterwards. Also a day will come when the earth
Will scratch herself and smile and rub off humanity

~ Robinson Jeffers

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