Yesterday the city of Fort Collins sustainability department screened a film called “A Sea Change”. I can’t recommend it highly enough. It documents the journey of a retired teacher with a 5 year old grandson (mine is almost 3) who goes on a quest to find out how Climate Change is impacting the oceans he loves, which his family has depended on for their livelihood for generations. He quickly discovers oceans are in dire straits: acid from absorbing our carbon effluence is dissolving the thin, delicate shells of the tiny, beautiful terrapods. Transparent, jelly-like, they “fly” through the sea. They are part of the bottom of the food chain. Carbonation is disolving their transparent shells like a can of Pepsi or Coke can dissolve a human tooth in a few weeks. If the bottom of the food chain dies, every creature above it on the chain also dies. Millions of humans also depend on the sea for food and other services.
The grim science research regarding the CURRENT state of the oceans (not future possibilities) is poignantly set off by the teacher’s letters home to his grandson, with his agony over whether there will be a viable planet for the child. There are, however several highly encouraging moments.
Both a prominent economist and a pair of Norwegian engineers advocate that if the developed world would devote 2 % of its GNP (less than we have spent in Iraq) and mobilize the way we did for world war II and for the Space program, we would be totally on available alternative energy, with today’s technology, within 10 years!
Where can we find the political will and the belief in the urgency of the situation to do this? How much money would be available if we started by stopping all the current federal (i.e. our money) funding supporting any further dirty energy projects which are also killing our environment. The oil, gas, and coal energy business can go forward on their own money and infrastructure while we divert public funds away from degrading the soil, the water and the atmosphere of the planet we depend on, toward a realistic alternative. WE need to stop talking in terms of what might happen and switch to the present tense: This IS happening. Weather disruption IS happening. Polar ice IS melting. Ocean levels ARE rising. Deserts ARE expanding. We are a planet in peril. Our grandchildren ARE facing a desperate future. Our great-grandchildren, our village’s great-grandchildren, ARE an endangered species, because so many of the other species we are interdependent upon ARE disappearing.
This morning I attended a town hall meeting with my senator, Mark Udall. Citizens, bless them for being there, brought up many concerns: the economy, the lack of jobs, the abuse of protestors, health care, terrorism and the impact of homeland security on our citizens, treatment of the armed forces, building the “green energy economy”. I realized all of these could change quickly and positively if we acted on this mobilization. Even Senator Udall reminded us, “The Economy is a Subsidiary of the Environment”. Well, Senator, are you with us? Or must we lead on in spite of our government?
This sounds like a testimonial for this film but I was so impressed with the information and the balance between the science, the beauty of the planet, and humanity. Recommend to all concerned about Climate Change Impact; find it at http://www.aseachange.net/