Monday, December 07, 2009

Copenhagen, confronting climate change and jobs

As world leaders meet in Denmark, I'm driven to make a comment or two.

Living in Michigan, I'm reminded daily of the lack of jobs, especially in this state. In nearby Flint there are near daily shootings. In our town, Mt Pleasant, there has been a series of burglaries and the police are reminding people to lock up. We need jobs and a lot of them, right away.

I know one of the arguments of the ignorant right is that putting the brakes on greenhouse gas emissions will hamper job creation. But as I watch the news, the few bright spots in this depressed economy, before any climate change legislation, involve steps toward a green economy. Cities are competing for solar plants, a biodigester complex is happening at a municipal wastewater treatment plant. Its true, controlling carbon dioxide will result in fewer jobs, the jobs of the past. Controlling carbon might close the doors on the jobs of yesteryear but it will simultaneously open many doors for the jobs of the future. The few bright spots we see today will only multiply with a robust climate policy.

As we decide to voice our concerns to legislators and such, lets refocus on the future we want to create, not cling to the obsolete and damaging past. I heard the US is committing to reducing emissions 20% from 2005 levels (probably the highest they've ever been). WTF? We can and must do better. I've said it before and I'll say it again, the world needs bold leadership from the US on climate change. But I guess we have to settle for Obama's empty promises of hope and half measures. Well, at least Obama accepts the science of climate change and greenhouse gases, unlike various baboons we've seen in the past.

If you hear someone argue that controlling emissions will mean fewer jobs, set them straight by explaining that controlling emissions will create more jobs, jobs we can count on for at least the foreseeable future.

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