Saturday, April 5, 2014

When Science Isn't Enough

Author and environmental activist Bill McKibben penned an interesting call to arms to scientists upon the recent release of an Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report. When the science is in, and the results are clear, and the results indicate a looming catastrophe, is the scientist's work done when the science is done?

McKibben makes the argument that all of us have two jobs: our day job as scientists or carpenters or teachers or stay-at-home-moms, but we also have a second job, that of citizen. And it is as citizens that we are failing at our jobs, because the politicians we are responsible for electing continue to make choices that are (literally) going to be the death of millions of us down the line.  As McKibben puts it:
it’s perfectly clear by now that you can’t scare politicians with the news that the world is ending. It’s going to require convincing them that something they really care about might disappear: their jobs.
With hundreds of millions of dollars funneling into the political system from fossil fuel companies and individual billionaires who own/are heavily invested in these companies, the deck is heavily stacked in favor of doing nothing, and gong about the business of making the planet largely uninhabitable. For citizens who accept the science and understand the consequences, the big question is what are we doing to effect change? What can we do? How can we get the political system to be responsive to reality? I don't know the answer to these questions, but sitting out the fight isn't the answer for sure.

Stop the Keystone XL Pipeline Project

Call your Representative and Senators and tell them you vote on climate change.

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