It’s not an American issue, or a human issue. It’s not even a liberal issue.
It’s right there in the name, as plain as a melting glacier. It’s global — meaning that it affects the entire earth.
I’m frustrated at the vigorous attempts by many to frame this issue as partisan or ideological. Believing in global warming — yes, there are those who apparently equate a measurably warming planet with the unseen Easter Bunny — does not turn me into a liberal or represent a shameful concession to the Democratic Party.
It does not make me anti-American to start thinking that there are other, less harmful ways to live. Making small changes to the way that I affect the planet’s health is not the final click of a lock that binds me to a threatened tree. It is not symbolic of abandoning my religion in favor of the devil’s science.
Sharing with my friends and neighbors how they can also be mindful of the planet’s welfare does not make me a lefty wacko or a Communist or a tree-hugger. Environmental Defense, the National Resource Defense Council, Greenpeace and Al Gore are not going to know who I am and are not going to come beating down my door for donations.
Choosing to accept the reality of global warming is recognition of interconnected life and respect for life of all kinds. It is choosing to see beyond my town, my state and my country. It allows me to see our whole beautiful planet.
It is an empowering action that recognizes that for all my contributions to the problem, I can now – easily – make contributions to the solution. It is honoring religious mandates for stewardship over the earth, and it is a commitment to creativity and ingenuity and hard work. It is accepting a responsibility to teach the next generations to learn from our experiences and continue to preserve and restore their earth.
The choice is ours, and it is thrust upon us in an increasingly urgent way.
To accept the present crisis, to awaken to our own power to stop it, and to embrace the mild discomfort that comes with any change is quite an easy decision to make when I consider two things: Who benefits from a warmer and more polluted world, and who benefits from a cleaner, more cooperative world?
Visit www.climatecrisis.net, www.environmentaldefense.org, or a zillion other easily searchable places to find out how you and I can save the planet together.
— Evan Austin, Ojai