(Promoted by Colorado Pols)
Earth Day is not a cliche.
OK, it sort of is, but its not yet too late. Maybe.
Yes, it’s been almost 50 years since the “first Earth Day.” Back then fossil fuel companies were just beginning to uncover troubling data on what their products were doing to the planet, and likely to do over the coming century.
These companies put their heads together and decided to do what they could… So now, fifty years later, some may even be sponsoring an Earth Day event near you!
Action, of course, is good — So we should applaud efforts in the state house and in Congress to take steps toward addressing our carbon pollution and acting to limit and reduce it. Some argue that it is not enough, that it is too little. Window dressing. Rearranging deck chairs.
It is true that the response to date is “tepid,” at best, because the science already tells us it will not be enough. The steps we must take must be bigger, the pace we must keep must be quicker.
And yet, still, we should not let that immensity of task distract us from our purpose. And for guidance here we can look back even further than 1970.
That our initial steps are not enough is not meant to be news, it is only mentioned by way of reminder. We have a ways to go.
The lesson then is that we must not tarry. If the journey of a thousand miles begins beneath our feet, then we need to get going. Even with a few tepid steps to get on our way.
At the federal level, one way to do that is to enact HR 9–the Climate Action Now Act. Colorado Representative Jason Crow was an early sponsor of this legislation that is intended to keep the United States in the Paris Agreement, and which would require the Trump administration to assemble a plan to meet our commitments under it. Our other new congressman, Joe Neguse, was another early co-sponsor.
And now all four Colorado Democrats in the House support HR 9. But taking meaningful action on climate change ought not be a partisan issue. All of Colorado’s delegation should support HR 9 in the House of Representatives. And Senator Gardner (who claims he intends to run on his “environmental record”) should be a champion when it or a similar bill hits the U.S. Senate. More pretty pictures won’t do it this time.
It is true that Earth Day is a time for politicians from across the political spectrum to mouth kind platitudes about Our Mother. So we may see our junior Senator show up yet. And across our land, bipartisan photo-ops will undoubtedly grace publications from small towns through mid-sized-city to megalopolis, and everyone will smile broadly to show their deep commitment to our survival.
But 2019 must also be the time for climate action. And it is up to voters to ensure that Earth Day show-boating is not enough to burnish an “environmental” record. HR 9 is just one step on a long journey. But its past time we get going. So maybe this year, after all that glad-handing, we can make sure our elected leaders take a real move toward climate solutions.