I am a grandfather, a farmer and a businessman. I grew up in a golden age, when the country had a tradition of solving problems and was willing to sacrifice when sacrifice was needed. It mobilized and won World War II. Later it mobilized and won the cold war and mobilized to go to the moon.
Now we have another problem and the United States needs to mobilize and solve it. Bill McKibben stated the issue with stark clarity. The world will be in very serious trouble if the temperature rises more than 2 degrees Celsius above 1990 levels. The world temperature has already increased 0.8 degrees.
Climate scientists have estimated that humans can pour only 565 more gigatons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere and stay below the 2-degree temperature rise. The amount of carbon already contained in the proven fossil-fuel reserves, however, is 2,795 gigatons. That is five times higher than what is allowable without widespread destruction. Fossil fuel reserve owners want to develop their fossil fuel. They want to be the richest people going over the carbon cliff.
I have five grandchildren and when they are hurt or frightened I try to comfort them by telling them “It will be all right,” but they will not be all right if the United States does not remember our tradition and mobilize to protect our future.
My grandchildren live in North Carolina in a modest house in a community that is about three feet above the high tide levels. Their community is at grave risk. I could suggest that they move, but all of our children and grandchildren are at risk, wherever they live. They will not be all right unless this country mobilizes. We don’t dump our trash into the streets anymore and we cannot continue to dump greenhouse gases into the air.
We need to get active and tell our representatives that we have to leave fossil fuels in the ground.