Tuesday, November 6, 2018

GO VOTE - Our Climate & Future Depend On It!

The results of this midterm election will be pivotal for many reasons. One reason that isn't brought up nearly enough has to do with the destabilization of our climate. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change just published a new report, which essentially gives us 12 years to get our act together as a society before we cross a dangerous threshold. For years, climate scientists have been warning us that the burning of fossil fuels and release of greenhouse gas emissions will warm our atmosphere and oceans, and that this warming will lead to extreme flooding in certain areas, more droughts and wildfires across the West, more intense hurricanes in the Gulf, etc. These predictions are already playing out across the country. Athina and I just spent 3 months on the road interviewing farmers, business owners, and ordinary citizens who are feeling the impacts of climate change, as well as scientists and other experts studying the issue. There is no question we've got a major crisis on our hands that we must urgently address. Click here to view our growing video archive that showcases some of these interviews.

Fortunately, renewable energy technology is available to reduce atmospheric pollution and get a hold of this problem. If you think shifting to renewables will be costly to the economy, consider the cost of inaction. For example, in 2016, 15 major climate-related natural disasters cost the U.S. economy $46 billion. This is 3 times more disasters than the annual average. In 2017, things took a new leap, when 16 major disasters cost the economy over $300 billion! The time to address climate change is now. We cannot keep kicking the can down the road if we wish to hold onto our regular weather patterns. Similarly, we cannot think that "they" will take care of the problem. This problem requires congressional action to remove fossil fuel subsidies and let renewable energy compete. This problem requires that the big polluters pay a fee to release carbon dioxide, much like they do when sending hazardous waste to the landfill. This problem requires YOU and I. Because if we don't vote today to send people to Washington who care to address climate change, then climate change won't get addressed.

Importantly, we don't have forever to get our act together. Once enough glaciers melt and once the oceans warm enough, we don't get to go back. Thus, the actions we choose to take or not take today will have impacts on our society for generations to come. The children and grandchildren of this world will one day ask us, "what did you do to help prevent climate change?" Let us tell them, "I VOTED to protect the future!"

Vote for Who?

Orange County, CA - If you live in OC and have Dana Rohrabacher as your congressman, you have an opportunity to make an important change. Dana has been in office for decades and has been a MAJOR impediment to climate action. I have personally met with him twice in D.C. He makes fun of even the most basic and well understood aspects of climate science and the greenhouse effect. Dana Rohrabacher must go. His opponent Harley Rouda, on the other hand, places an emphasis on the importance of climate change and the protection of our future. Harley gets my endorsement.

I also support Katie Porter in CA District-45 given that her opponent Mimi Walters takes money from fossil fuel corporations and does not have a good track record on the environment and climate change.

Further Reading

For more on climate change and understanding the misconceptions that often surround the topic, pick up a copy of my new book Beyond Debate: Answers to 50 Misconceptions on Climate Change. If you already know the issue, it'll make a great holiday gift for someone who does not!

Dr. Shahir Masri
Air Pollution Exposure Scientist