Letter to the editor: Do it all now
To the editor:
A comprehensive approach to climate change will require personal behavior change and, yes, sacrifice. This undoubtedly is true and was a point made by Ken Meyer in a letter on Sept. 26. Mr. Meyer seemed to advise individual actions as more urgent than “rail(ing) against elected officials.” I would like to emphasize that this is not an either/or situation. As the old labor anthem said, “There is no power weaker than the feeble force of one,” — but it continues — “but the union makes us strong.” We need individual action, but we also need the multiplier effect that can be achieved only by government, corporations and other large organizations.
Americans have shown in the past a willingness to make sacrifices, e.g., in World War II, when the need is clear and when people believe 1) their efforts will have a significant effect and 2) sacrifice will be widespread and fair. Government can encourage this sort of general behavior change and can enforce it if necessary. Government also can make other systemic changes (e.g., vehicle efficiency standards) and can encourage others (e.g., tax benefits for solar power).
So, do exert restraint with your thermostat. Drive less. Install solar panels if you can. But also lobby elected officials at all levels of government as well as CEOs and heads of organizations. We need to do it all, and we need to do it now.