Lessons Learned from Civil Discourse

I recently attended an event focused on the benefits of civil discourse around the acceptance or denial of climate change science as reality. Sometimes I forget that there are still people and organizations (Trump Administration) that are deniers of climate change, more specifically that climate change is not being caused by human activity. While there is no doubt that our climate is changing, weather events becoming more extreme, rising sea levels, drought, melting ice caps, and acidification of our oceans, and many other harmful impacts, the discussion around whether or not human activity is causing these effects is sadly still a reality.

After the event and open discourse regarding the cause of climate change, the reality of the issue became more clear to me, personally. I am a firm believer that our activity is directly increasing the natural climate warming cycles of the planet. While I am a firm believer, the argument for or against really does not matter. Not anymore. If we look at the benefits of a low-carbon future, the argument around cause becomes mute. By choosing to continue societal investment in carbon heavy fuel sources (oil, coal, natural gas, etc.) we are directly attributing to the fragility of our planetary systems through the excavation, distribution and use of these materials. Even if you take the away the impacts of burning carbon laden fuel sources, the impacts are still catastrophic to our environment through the permanent damage to the land, pollution of water systems, loss of biodiversity, negative health impacts for humans (and any other creature that breathes), etc.

A low-carbon future is cleaner, safer, healthier, contributes to national security, promotes innovation and investment in renewable energy sources, reduces the overspend of planetary resources and many other benefits for the future of humankind (and every other living thing on the planet). Does it really matter if you believe that climate change is the fault of human activity or not? That argument becomes almost irrelevant as we have surpassed several warming points from which we will not be able to reverse, at least not in our current lifetime. What matters now are the choices we make right NOW for the future, change what we can, and move to a low-carbon future.

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