Open Letter on Climate Change

This is an open letter to the Democrats, Republicans, and Libertarians and all of their supporters (with the Green Party I’m just preaching to the choir). Climate change is real, and the danger is imminent. We have now an atmospheric floor of 400 ppm CO2. By some estimates, this is already too late. It is time to take drastic action, immediately! 

We need a Green New Deal. We need to find not only carbon neutral, but carbon negative schemes of energy generation. Failing that, we need to start engineering sustainable alternative means of carbon sequestration.  Whatever technology innovated will spread world-wide, serving the need of nations around the world to protect their future. 

Hydrocarbon production is nearing a dead-end as an energy technology. As hydrocarbon companies deplete the easy sources, more resources necessary to extract and/or process. Perhaps that translates to fresh water used in shale extraction, or the energy required to obtain the temperatures and pressures necessary to extract the oil. Alternately, we have the toxins accumulated in the process of extraction from ash tailing ponds, massive waste streams from mountaintop removal, radioactive brine spills with fracking, or even earthquake swarms created by wastewater injection. Who pays for the ecological damage? (hint: not the people who caused it.). It’s another case of privatizing profits and publicizing losses.  

We need to remove all subsidies on hydrocarbons. No more eminent domain to build hydrocarbon infrastructure. No more immunity of any kind from the damages they create. Whether or not wastewater injection was responsible for earthquake swarms was pretty definitively settled by the Army Corps of Engineers at Rocky Flats in the 1960s.

We need to bail-in the sustainable energy industry. We need a new “moonshot” decade of directed R&D to develop improved efficiency in solar production, ecologically sensitive means of wind, tidal, and hydrodynamic power, geothermal, and the technologies needed to store the energy and distribute it efficiently for when the wind isn’t blowing and the sun isn’t shining. Most importantly, and tangentially related, we need to either develop means to cope with the oncoming climate shifts (especially seeing how many people live near the coasts). We need carbon sequestration. We need to reverse ocean acidification. There is little time to lose. 

This cause had a devoted servant in Bernie Sanders, and since his ability to shift the public debate has faded, nobody has bothered to pay more than lip service to its cause other than Jill Stein. It seems that, no matter who wins, we all lose on this. It doesn’t have to be the case. 

I want to shout out to all those people who are now backing these candidates. This shit is square on you. These are your candidates. By your support (and eventual vote) you alone enable their platforms to become reality. If we all stood up and demanded change we would get a response, until then you prevent anything from getting done. Yes, you who support Trump, Clinton, or Johnson.  You support all of this too. 

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