Jackie Ballance: When it comes to our climate, there’s no more time to waste

  • The earth world globe on fire, concept for climate change, global warming, or other disasters ChrisGorgio

Published: 9/17/2019 5:00:17 PM

Last October’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s report shocked us with its dire warning that we then had 12 years at the very most to stop burning the fossil fuels that threaten life on earth. Subsequent reports suggest that we have much less time.

In related news last spring, the United Nations also warned us that the sixth mass extinction is underway. Today the U.S. is emitting more greenhouse gases than ever, not less. Every single day that goes by brings us closer to irreversible climate catastrophe, with unimaginable suffering and death, wars and starvation all around the world.

We are committing murder/suicide by continuing to burn oil and gas — along with the corresponding plastic waste that’s killed so much life in the oceans. This is a climate emergency. There is no doubt.

Government and business must act as soon as possible to end the use of fossil fuels, and institute measures to reduce the carbon already in the atmosphere, and to control our abuse of “disposable” plastics.

On Friday, young people will lead an international, intergenerational strike to call for urgent climate action. Many of us are going to Boston. There will also be rallies in Greenfield, Northampton, Amherst and Springfield.

I want to encourage local business folks to release your employees to attend a rally, to talk about the issue in the workplace, to take this life-or-death threat seriously. Faith leaders, please talk about the sacred responsibility of planetary stewardship this week. The future will not wait for us. It is here.

Arctic sea ice is nearly gone, which some science suggests might be a tipping point. We have no more time to waste.

Jackie Ballance

Florence




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