[MCN] My climate change email to Sen. Jon Tester today

Lance Olsen lance at wildrockies.org
Thu Jun 6 17:15:07 EDT 2019

Senator Jon Tester
United States Senate
Washington DC

Dear Jon

In December of 2018, recognizing the broad array of economic risks associated with emissions from combustion of fossil fuels, the Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change, a group of 415 investment firms managing combined assets worth more than twice the size of the entire Chinese economy, concluded that 1— corporations must be required to come clean on reporting their climate risks. 

That’s not all. This same group also concluded that governments must back away from 2 — reliance on thermal coal, and 3 —stop subsidizing all fossil fuels, and 4 — get on with putting a price on carbon <<https://www.cnn.com/2018/12/10/business/climate-change-investors-cop24/index.html>>.

Try as they might, your colleagues across the aisle cannot dismiss this group as a bunch of socialists. Nor can they dismiss this group as a bunch of hippie tree huggers. Although they might try to look the other way, your colleagues across the aisle need to realize and admit that this group is a group of practicing capitalists, worried about rising threats to capital. 

I endorse and support the four above steps to reduce the many risks emerging from combustion of fossil fuels. My own concerns focus around climate-driven risks to living species and ecosystems, including risks to humans, especially children, but these concerns will be served with initiation of the four important steps urged by the Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change.

The beauty of this investment  group’s four-point pressure campaign is that it doesn’t focus on requiring corporate disclosure of exposure to climate risk as a single silver bullet sufficient to the cause. It also urges government reform on three counts, not one, rejecting any suggestion that some single action by government can do the job. That’s consistent with climate scientist’s recent urging that action will be needed across broad swaths of our lives and times. 

Last but not least the investment group’s four-point campaign is highly consistent with major features of the Green New Deal. But, however the Green New Deal itself works out, the Quixotic quest for a silver bullet has delayed realistic thinking for too long. 

Elizabeth Kolbert: " And I think the point that Bill has made, and I agree with it, is maybe we can avoid the worst possible future. But I don’t think at this point we can avoid a lot, a lot, a lot of damage.”

Bill McKibben: “Look, Betsy’s right. So we’re not playing for stopping climate change. We’re playing maybe for being able to slow it down to the point where it doesn’t make civilizations impossible. That’s an open question. There are scientists who tell you we’re already past that point. The consensus, at least for the moment, is that we’ve got a narrow and closing window, but that if we move with everything we have, then, perhaps, we’ll be able to squeeze a fair amount of our legacy through it. But Betsy is right, an already very difficult century is going to become a lot harder no matter what we do. It’s at this point trying to keep it from becoming not a difficult and even miserable century but a literally impossible one.”
https://www.newyorker.com/news/the-new-yorker-interview/bill-mckibben-and-elizabeth-kolbert-on-the-un-extinction-report <https://www.newyorker.com/news/the-new-yorker-interview/bill-mckibben-and-elizabeth-kolbert-on-the-un-extinction-report>

Greta Thunberg: “We live in a strange world. But it’s the world that my generation has been handed. It’s the only world we’ve got.”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bFvXc14g3AQ <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bFvXc14g3AQ>

“A new area of study is the field that some of us are beginning to call social traps. The term refers to situations in society that contain traps formally like a fish trap, where men or whole societies get themselves started in some direction or some set of relationships that later prove to be unpleasant or lethal and that they see no easy way to back out of or to avoid."

John Platt. Social Traps. American Psychologist, August 1973
Excerpt:  "Environmental psychologist Susi Moser, also talks about the importance of acknowledging our underlying fears and distress about climate change as an important coping strategy.  She argues that this is a necessary step for developing ‘authentic hope’ about climate change.  Moser (2012) calls it ‘the bravest thing’ – getting real, accepting reality without illusions, and accepting that better tomorrows may not come.”
https://www.isthishowyoufeel.com/blog/how-do-people-cope-with-feelings-about-climate-change-so-that-they-stay-engaged-and-take-action <https://www.isthishowyoufeel.com/blog/how-do-people-cope-with-feelings-about-climate-change-so-that-they-stay-engaged-and-take-action>————————————————————
Teen activist says leaders not 'mature enough' to take action on  <https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2018/12/15/teenage-activist-calls-leaders-not-mature-enough-take-action-climate-change/>climate <https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2018/12/15/teenage-activist-calls-leaders-not-mature-enough-take-action-climate-change/>
https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2018/12/15/teenage-activist-calls-leaders-not-mature-enough-take-action-climate-change/ <https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2018/12/15/teenage-activist-calls-leaders-not-mature-enough-take-action-climate-change/>
Dec 15, 2018 ... Greta Thunberg spoke at the global climate conference in Poland, telling officials they 'are too scared of being unpopular' to take action on ...

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