In this guest post by Brian Ettling which first appeared on Climate Bites, we are asked to “bear witness” to the spoken, written and visual record that is being created on climate change. As Mother Nature continues to”take it up a notch” with extreme weather events unfolding around the world, it seems increasingly unlikely that we will need to wait for our grandchildren to recognize these “false witnesses.”
Reject Climate Change? Your Grandchildren will Read Your Words
In his last address to his Congressional peers on the Energy & Environment Subcommittee in November, 2010, conservative Republican South Carolina Representative Bob Inglis began with this statement for his fellow conservative Republicans also in Congress:“I’m very excited to be here Mr. Chairman, because this is on the record. And it’s a wonderful thing about Congressional hearings — they’re on the record. Kim Beazley who’s Australia’s ambassador to the United States tells me that when he runs into a climate skeptic, he says to them, ‘Make sure to say that very publicly, because I want our grandchildren to read what you said and what I said. And so, we’re on the record, and our grandchildren, or great-grandchildren, are going to read.’
And so some are here suggesting to those children that here’s a deal: Your child is sick — this is what Tom Friedman gave me this great analogy yesterday — Your child is sick. 98 doctors say treat him this way. Two say no, this other way is the way to go. I’ll go with the two. You’re taking a big risk with those kids. Because 98 of the doctors say, “Do this thing,” two say, “Do the other.” So, it’s on the record.”
Most scientist think, such as the late Dr. Stephen Schneider, we could face nasty surprises or consequences in future decades, if we do not act now to reduce the threat of climate change. Most of these consequences, such as severe droughts, floods, more intense hurricanes, crop failures, etc, would be deeply felt by our children and future generations.
With so much at stake, are you still willing to go ‘on the record’ to reject climate change? Your grandkids will remember your words and actions.
Brian Ettling: Loves planet earth and is following his passion as a climate change communicator; in August 2012 Brian was trained by Al Gore and the Climate Reality Project as a Climate Leader. For the past 13 years, Brian has worked as a naturalist ranger at Everglades National Park in Florida and at Crater Lake National Park in Oregon, where he has created an evening campfire program on the impact of climate change on Crater Lake. In the “off season” Brian lives in St. Louis, Missouri where he co-founded Climate Reality St. Louis, a group of locals discussing the impact and solutions to climate change.
P.S. If you have 5 minutes, grab the kids in your life and watch and listen to Rep. Inglis as he attacks climate deniers!