Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Daily Necessity

In a recent piece of good news, charges were dropped against two environmental activists who stopped a huge waterborne shipment of coal for a day. They anchored a much smaller boat in its path and refused to move.

Charges were dropped by a sympathetic district attorney. "Climate change is one of the gravest crises our planet has ever faced," said Sam Sutter, the Bristol County district attorney, according to the New York Times.

Even more provocative and encouraging, the defendants were planning to evoke the necessity defense. It goes like this: They had no choice but to act because the consequences of climate change are so urgent and grim.

It made me think -- I feel like evoking the necessity defense every single day.

Do I think it is necessary to defend the planet because it's the only one we have and it's under siege? Yes and yes.

It's indefensible that we are destroying the planet yet fossil fuel companies have made something harmful -- carbon pollution -- a necessary part of our lives.

There are alternatives, and the challenges to rapid adoption are not technological or economic anymore. The challenges to a clean energy revolution are social and political.

Change scares people and the people who want everyone to remain in the past spend a great deal of money and effort to tap into that fear. That's the social challenge.

Fossil fuel money is deeply embedded in politics. Votes go to the highest bidders and special interest groups pay for ridiculous access and influence. That's the political challenge.

The revolution is coming. It's not a question of if but when. Then why are we still making so much noise? Why not show a little patience, you crazy activists?

Sorry, we don't have enough time.  It's absolutely positively necessary to act now.

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