A new survey reveals that Americans place global warming LAST on a list of domestic priorities. I learned that from an article in ClimateWire.
About a week later, I read an opinion piece by Bill McKibben from the LA Times. Something he said explained to me why Americans are so blasé about global warming. "Americans are constitutionally convinced that there will always be a second act, and a third, and a do-over after that, and, if necessary, a little public repentance and forgiveness and a Brand New Start."
Global warming seems more urgent to me, sitting here in Oakland in an 83° office in MAY. We don’t usually see this kind of heat until September. I’m living in the brave new world you’ll all be living in soon—the no-air-conditioning world everyone lived in until about 100 years ago. (Earthjustice walks its talk: we don’t do air conditioning.)
Up in Juneau, they’re living in the new world order, too. An avalanche took out the lines that delivered power from a hydroelectric dam and everything electric is running on diesel—one of the most expensive and dirtiest fuels we have. Electricity rates went up 400 percent overnight. Now Juneau-ans (Juneau-ites?) are jumping in with that good ol’ American know-how and can-do spirit and overnight they’ve reduced their electricity consumption by 38 percent. Thirty-eight percent! The local newspaper puts the city’s electricity usage on the front page every day.
What Juneau shows us is that when the sh*t hits the fan, we’ll get our butts in gear. But by then it’ll be too late. How can we get America to realize that the sh*t HAS hit the fan?